Photo by Lucía Zapata
From a burgeoning nest of ateliers in Kreuzkölln, Sing Blackbird has become the latest addition to the neighbourhood’s hype by dishing up “vintage, coffee and cake” five days a week to a crowd of local and transient Berliners.
Hailing from Germany (with Croatian parents) and the US, owners Diana Durdic and Tasha Arana make a winsome duo. Arana, a former New Yorker, worked as an accessories designer, while Durdic was an engineer. As the latter says, “We’re able to take advantage of each other’s abilities.” Though even these weren’t able to prevent them from being robbed on their first week in business… which proves Neukölln might, after all, have retained some genuine local flair.
Spanning multiple white-walled rooms, Sing Blackbird oozes more modern elegance than scruffy vintage (the place used to be a phone-sex HQ, but gone are the artifacts of its earlier incarnation). Light fittings are fashioned from birdcages, fresh flowers adorn the tables and dainty crockery features on the wall. Make use of the free wifi and settle in for an espresso, made from coffee beans roasted just outside Berlin (Ridders Kaffeerösterei). And don’t go without trying the homemade baked goods, such as the delicious Zwetschgenkuchen or Bio scones with marmalade (both €2.50); there are also savoury options from Hokkaido pumpkin quiche to Spanish tortilla (€3).
No visit would be complete without trying on some of the handpicked stock: leopard-print ankle boots for €35, or a 1970s knit sweater dress for €50. Sourced from Germany, Poland and the US, the 1970s-1990s garments, shoes and accessories are decently priced, and you can swap your own clothes for store or café credit. Just in case you wanted to leave empty-handed… (or empty-bellied for that matter!)