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Griessmühle: A new home for Berlin’s cult club — in an old brewery?

Its closure was a bitter loss for Berlin’s party scene — but now the legendary Griessmühle has, reportedly, found a new home. After years in Neukölln, the club had to close at the beginning of 2020 — the site’s investor had other plans for the area near the Estrel Hotel on Sonnenallee. And so Griessmühle’s operators had a serious problem: where could the spirit of this hallowed venue live on?

Die Bärenquell-Brauerei steht seit mehr als zwei Jahrzehnten leer – und könnte nun zum neuen Hotspot werden: als Heimat der Griessmühle. Foto: Pop-Eye
The Bärenquell Brewery has lain empty for more than two decades — and could now become a new hotspot as the home of Griessmühle. Photo: Pop-Eye

As one of Berlin’s most beloved nightspots, Griessmühle was famed for its colourful raves — some of which lasted for days. Perhaps the most iconic was its ‘Cocktail d’Amore’ party series, a monthly sexpositive extravaganza well known far beyond the city limits.

News that the long struggle fought by the club’s operators and campaigners was lost dealt a crushing blow to an already beleaguered scene. The investor for the Neukölln site does, however, intend to operate a club there. But it’s doubtful whether the underground charm of Griessmühle could authentically live on as part of such a project.

New home for Griessmühle: The party continues at an old brewery site

But the latest news is that a new home has reportedly been found for Griessmühle. According to German newspaper Tagesspiegel, the club will relocate to Schöneweide in the east of the city — again to an industrial wasteland, but one that is to be properly revamped.

A demo in Neukölln against the closure of the Griessmühle: Many saw the end of the cult club at Sonnenallee as a symbolic sell-out. Photo: Imago/Mang

According to reports, the club’s new location will be the site of the former Bärenquell brewery in Niederschöneweide. The red-brick compound there has lain derelict for a quarter of a century, but — in line with the wishes of Israeli investor, Ofer Hava — is set to become a new cultural hub featuring restaurants, a university campus and nightspots. All with as much graffiti-covered industrial charm retained as possible.

Earlier this year, Hava told German tabloid B.Z. that around €250 million would be invested in the site. A private university is planned there, he said, and there are hopes of bringing a large Broadway show to Berlin. The comprehensive plans for the site — which has long been scheduled for revival — also include a dedicated Bärenquell Museum and a new brewery. Hava purchased the site back in 2015.

Griessmühle to reveal more details soon

The Griessmühle website itself remains cryptic, with ‘Revier Südost’ and ‘Berlin Schöneweide’ the only clues to its upcoming whereabouts. But more should follow: ‘opening soon’, it says underneath.

Griessmuehle in Schöneweide: Die Bärenquell-Brauerei hat zumindest den passenden Charme für einen Club im Berlin-Style. Das ganze Gelände soll bald genutzt werden. Foto: Imago/Pop-Eye
The former Bärenquell brewery has the appropriate vibe for a Berlin-style club. The whole area is to be overhauled soon. Photo: Imago/Pop-Eye

Will the abandoned brewery in Schöneweide follow in the footsteps of Berlin revamp success story Kulturbrauerei? And will Berlin’s iconic club scene recover from months of empty dance floors brought about by the corona crisis? Only time will tell.

Original article by Sebastian Scherer

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