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Some Berlin clubs are reopening as beer gardens – and dancing is banned

As Germany’s lockdown is lifted, venues are swapping all-night parties for gourmet pizza and foaming steins

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

In the before times, Sisyphos was an ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ sort of place. Techno parties at this open-air venue in Berlin’s Rummelsburg area would run from Friday through to Sunday every weekend – and you certainly wouldn’t just pop in for a beer and a snoop. You’d be in it for the long haul.

Now, however, the German capital’s storied clubs are having to adapt, and Sisyphos is leading the charge. Taking advantage of the government’s easing of restrictions on restaurants, it has obtained a food licence and reopened its large outdoor space as an afternoon beer garden.

The owners promise food, drink and music – but dancing is banned and the curfew is an unheard-of 10pm. Where before punters would dance on tables to the thump of local DJs, now guests must remain seated as much as possible, and staff are required to wear masks. It’s essentially an outdoor restaurant with added techno – open from 3pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Elsewhere, Birgit & Bier, a part-outdoor club in Kreuzberg, has reopened as a beer garden and pizzeria. Here the rules are even stricter: dancing is banned, while guests as well as staff are required to wear masks.

Another of the city’s big-hitting venues, ://about blank, says it is considering how to reopen its outdoor area ‘in a responsible way’ soon. ‘Containing the pandemic remains our top priority,’ Elisabeth Steffen told Berliner Zeitung. ‘But of course we note that there’s a certain longing – among both guests and us.’ We can testify to that.

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