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Booze Bar Betreutes trinken

If the straight-up name isn’t clear enough for you, the chalkboard outside gives it to you in black and white: “No shisha, no happy hour, no shit, betreutes trinken”.

Translating roughly to “assisted” or “serious drinking”, this bar has no time for the usual ramshackle approach which many of Friedrichshain’s watering holes take. Since the summer of 2011, The Booze Bar’s only offer is a tailored drinking experience of personalised cocktails and a service which waits on you hand and foot. Upon asking for the drinks card, the barkeep’s response of “I am your menu” sets this straight, as they proceed to ensure that every customer is personally taken care of with drinks to suit their mood and taste. From elaborate cocktails—and we’re talking shaved vanilla sticks and sugar dusted glasses—to a simple beer, it’s hard not to be impressed by the passion for good drinks which keeps the bartenders attentive and the sophisticated boozers happy.

The Booze Bar goes against the prevailing trashy-and-proud attitude of Friedrichshain and proves to be the squeaky-clean navel of the neighborhood’s grimy underbelly. Yet there’s still a foosball table in the back and a vinyl-only DJ at the weekend; this is still very much Berlin.

Kugelbahn The glittering end of Grüntaler

When Jess Schmidt and Uwe Effertz took over Kugelbahn in 2011, the couple decided to keep the glorious, third-hand bowling alley from the ‘50s in the basement, which is pretty much the ultimate hidden bar antique. The adjacent stage was also renovated by the couple and now once a week the packed space vibrates with live music. The entertainment is not exclusive to downstairs though. Upstairs vibes with a classic candle-lit, genuine fireplace kind of coziness; a decent list of beers is guaranteed to sate and the wall of rotating artwork from Kolonie Wedding aims to please.

Though all levels are welcome at the rentable bowling alley, beware, the level of challenge is definitely raised with the retro bowling balls because finger holes are non-existent. Here’s another space for Berliners to master yet another sport while drinking and socializing, or you can die trying to defeat the regulars over at Dr. Pong.

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