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A shop for the modern lumbersexual

Campfire-scented incense is not the usual essential you'd pop down to the drugstore for but Hallesches Haus is offering just that kind of "necessity" and more for feeling like you're roughing it while staying in Berlin.

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Photo by Jason Harrell

A vial of Danish beard oil that smells of ylang ylang and lavender (€20). A small glass terrarium containing carnivorous plants (€24). A €25 picnic blanket that comes with detailed instructions on how to use the blanket (“Spread it out as ground cover”). A €34 bucket. These are but a few of the treasures to be found at Hallesches Haus, a self-proclaimed “general store” aimed at those of us who, overwhelmed by our digital world, wish to pay inordinate amounts of money to pretend we live in a time before electricity.

Needless to say, there are Americans involved. Opened in March, the store is the brainchild of former design start-up employees Jillian May, Michelle Casciolo and Oliver Cayless, two Yanks and a Brit who turned the ground floor of the grandiose former post office opposite Hallesches Tor into a spacious, rustic wonderland of artisanal ‘necessities’.

Will Kreuzbergers buy in? The trio’s hedging their bets by holding pop-up brunches, scheduling Thursday open-air movie nights in their court-yard and turning the back room into a lunch restaurant, opening this month. They’ve also got a café in the middle of the store.

If you sit there long enough, sipping locally roasted coffee (from Tom’s in Krumme Lanke, €1.80), nibbling a “jalapeño-cheddar biscuit” (non-Americans, think “scone”, €2) and listening to Mumfordish folk while gazing at the wares around you, you may indeed start wistfully picturing yourself living off the land in a remote wooden cabin, maybe somewhere in Brandenburg – a feeling you can recreate at home with €18 campfire-scented incense.

Originally published in issue #139, June 2015.