“Divine decadence, darling!” Sally Bowles declared whilst swooning over herself in the film Cabaret. And now Sally lives on in a new bar in Schöneberg inspired by Christopher Isherwood’s heroine.
It’s not exactly divine decadence, and 21st-century Berlin might lack the true bohemian spirit of cabaret, yet the bar manages to effortlessly capture the elegance and charm of the Weimar era.
It wouldn’t be a cabaret-themed bar without a racy past – “Downstairs used to be a darkroom!” owner Sebastian Ungruhe proudly informs. Together with partner Nadine Greitzke and their friends and family, he entirely rebuilt the interior of the former sex club.
The design is quaint, with delicate yellow wallpaper and an aged piano with little wooden chairs. Candlelit tables catch the spotlight in back. On early weekday nights the piano is hushed by the mainstream sounds of Robbie Williams and Norah Jones. Weekends tell a different story, though, as the bar is transported into the 1920s through events like “A Cabaret Story 1881-1933” (photo) performed by Aristide Bruant, Yvette Guilbert, Mischa Spoliansky and Friedrich Holländer and the sounds of jazz singers, pianists and gramophone magic.
Don’t leave Sally Bowles without raising a toast to Sally herself with a taste of her signature tipple. The cocktail is slightly offensive to wallets (€7.20), but the fruity taste of lillet blanc and wild berry will help you forget. You might even get thirsty for more. Many well-mixed cocktails come at similar prices, as well as beer (0.2L for €1.80), coffee (€2.20) or even champagne in case you’re feeling slightly more decadent – which you can accompany with a plate of bread and Schmalz for a touch of proletarian chic.
Naturally it’s located around the corner from Isherwood’s old lodgings at Nollendorfstraße 17, so swing by and witness where the eccentric starlet was created.
Next A Cabaret Story 1881-1933: Fri, Mar 22, 20:00 | Free, in English