Thursday, November 24, 2011

Kumpelnest 3000

After a very nice concert evening at the Philarmonie last Saturday (I just love the Mozart's requiem, everytime I listen to it, I'm shivering), my boyfriend asked the right question: where is the bar? It’s not that I don’t like Potsdamer Platz, I know very well the cocktail bar of the Mandala hotel and I used to go from its opening at the Victoria Bar but It’s not my favorite outside their school of drunkenness (see website) but that, I can do on my own. Because we didn’t want to travel through the city to find something to drink (though it’s no big deal in this city), because we wanted to stay in the neighborhood and not going back to East, we figured out what the options were … walking down west on the Potsdamer Straße. On this street, you will find dance and drink clubs and all look like a red light district with neon color lights inside, men with black suits and hair gel, with doorkeepers and luxury cars at the entrance, girls with so short dress that every man on the planet is their gynecologist. In the middle of that, you also will find the Wintergarten. I remember a few months ago the place became famous because of the gay parties inside which was abandoned because there was too much noise. Anyway, opposite of this  legendary theater, there is a dark road, the Lützowstraße and at the number 23 please open the door and get into Kumpelnest 3000. You will not believe it. Well, you will. After one or two drinks or more. If you are used to go out with me or follow my links, you certainly know the Roses in Oranienstraße, this tacky bar with walls covered with plush and kitschy taste. Coming in, Kumpelnest has been entirely decorated by art students, using old scraps of carpet and broken mirror, but the bar – in all of its crumpled glory – is still one of the stalwarts of the deep down and dirty Berlin club scene of yore. The crowd is as chaotic as the interior is, getting going to disco dance anthems into the extra-early mornings, as this place often stays open past 5am, and even later on weekends. Gay or straight, you're welcome here. All that's asked is that you enjoy a kinky good time in what used to be a brothel. This crowded and chaotic place is really a bar now. Berliners often show up here for early-morning fun after they've exhausted the action at the other hot spots. This lurid bat cave is sensuous, kooky and kitschy enough to feature in a 1940s Shanghai noir thriller. A true classic, famous for its wild, debauched all-nighters, it attracts a hugely varied public, from 20’s students to 70’s retired (but the lady with leather jacket please) without forgetting the 30’s mid something straight guy, feeling not so comfortable, sharing a beer with his so-called straight married friend (searh for the ring). You could also have the opportunity to chat with a black wigged woman or with the blond legged transexual. Some say the doorkeeper, arrived late, is not as friendly as he seems, maybe true but didn’t have to complain that evening. Don’t be surprised if your bar keeper is not there anymore, service changes. Once my friend Axel comes back to work in Berlin, he will have to taste aperitif there (he’s not working far from the place and I’m sure it is on his way home). Latest advice: forget the wine, any color.

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