You’re walking down a green residential street in Moabit so quiet you wonder if you’re in Berlin at all. Suddenly, you notice something strange protruding from a concrete wall. Bright green and disturbingly large… a pickle, beckoning you in!
Pickle Bar was opened right before the pandemic in 2020 by Slavs and Tatars, a Eurasian artist collective. The project-space-cum-bar explores regions of eastern Europe and central Asia through art and conversation. Homemade Polish style pickles (ogórki małosolne during the summer and ogórki kiszone in winter; available for free) are viewed here as a political metaphor – for further explanation please ask the bartender!
Warning: expat levels 80 percent, sensitive politics 90 percent, people drunk on vodka… 100 percent!
The limited alcohol selection (all drinks €3) is peculiar and regionally themed: Georgian wine for the sophisticated, local beer for the assimilated, Russian vodka for the brave-hearted and Polish pickle juice for the freaky. The place only opens for special events. The minimalist decor – white walls, a single poster with a soldier and a hedgehog, no tables – is the perfect backdrop for family-friendly lectures on race representation in Soviet children’s books, performances on bodies in translation and communal bread listening, workshops on phenomenologies of radical reading and – this month – a series on queer lexicon in eastern Europe.
The crowd varies on how (un)fashionably late you are to an event. As the evening heats up, lights shift to neon, as well-dressed twenty and thirty somethings sway to mild techno mixed with folk tunes in the bar and courtyard. Warning: expat levels 80 percent, sensitive politics 90 percent, people drunk on vodka… 100 percent!
- Pickle Bar Stephanstr. 11, days and hours vary based on events