Party Earth Review A bevy of young creative types are dawn to Ä, which despite its simple name touts a varied calendar of live entertainment hidden past the bedraggled and graffiti-plastered façade. The venue is divided into two minimalist... ... read full review
U: Rathaus Neukölln, Hermannplatz
Kreuzberg / Neukölln, Berlin –
A bevy of young creative types are dawn to Ä, which despite its simple name touts a varied calendar of live entertainment hidden past the bedraggled and graffiti-plastered façade.
The venue is divided into two minimalist rooms, with reclaimed tables, a variety of secondhand plastic chairs and crates to sit on, and unfinished cement walls sparsely adorned with old pictures.
On Wednesdays, local students, artists, and musicians cram the joint to hear acoustic singer-songwriters and experimental music, while second and fourth Thursdays see a literary-minded crowd pack in for prose and poetry.
On other nights, a more pub-like feel reigns as grungy locals hang around playing foosball and smoking cigarettes, talking issues of the day, and indulging in the healthy selection of Bavarian and Franconian beer.
Local DJs set up on weekends to play the latest in electro, dubstep, or funk as the rooms fill to bursting and a more club-like revelry ensues well into dawn.
Perhaps the venue’s high point comes on fourth Fridays when it features the Living in Berlin “Schmusetiersoap,” an ongoing dramatic and comedic soap opera about local politics performed entirely with stuffed animals.
A grime-encrusted gem of culture or a local pub with lots of character, Ä has made a standard out of being unconventional for proudly peculiar partiers.
Students, musicians, artists, and some eclectic older folks for specific events, but mostly local young Neukölln-ians, 20s to 30s.
Live acoustic and experimental music on Wednesdays from 9pm; literature and/or poetry readings on second and fourth Thursdays from 9pm; Living in Berlin “Schmusetiersoap” (Stuffed Animal Soap Opera) on fourth Fridays from 9pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, DJs play a range of music including electro, techno, dubstep, and funk from 10pm.
Check venue website for up-to-date calendar and video interviews of past and future performers.
Food may be ordered from Wirtshaus Schwarzzenberger next door, a restaurant under the same ownership that offers traditional German dishes like goulash, bulette, various flammkuchen, and spätzle, as well as a few pasta dishes.
Indoor smoking room and outdoor smoking patio.
No cover charge. Wirtshaus dishes €3.50–€14. Beer €2–€3, wine €3, long drinks €5–€6, spirits €2–€4.
Casual alternative: white t-shirts, jeans, tracksuits, ripped clothes, sundresses, flip-flops, spiked hair, Birkenstocks, lots of secondhand oddities.
Any night a performance of interest is scheduled, especially fourth Fridays for the live “Schmusetiersoap,” or any regular Friday and Saturday night for big crowds and DJs.
Tier (Weserstraß 42) just across the street has a slightly pricier menu but a similar crowd and music.