Westberlin (Berlin, Germany)

Westberlin (Berlin, Germany)
What's the story behind your shop?
I left my architectural practice four years ago to open a modern coffee bar that also sells international magazines and newspapers, a concept I saw all the way back in the nineties in New York at a place called News Bar. I tried to adapt this concept to our times and teamed up with April Melnick (who worked for Stumptown Coffee and Heart Roasters, both in Portland, USA). We found this spacious location with huge windows, and we designed the bar ourselves. We have collaborations with Drop Coffee (Stockholm) and Five Elephant (Berlin). Our selection of magazines was a personal one from the start, and focuses on art, desin, fashion, next to a wide selection of Berlin-related books.


What's special about your space?

Besides being a coffee bar and a magazine shop and having an atypical location on a former high street, you could say we are a third wave place that doesn’t look like one. We have all the good things and right ingredients like perfect beans, equipment, and skilled staff, but we keep everything very relaxed. If you have a question or want to know more about our products, we happily talk about it. If not, just enjoy your coffee in a warm and vibrant atmosphere. We have wifi, play music, and you even find sugar on the tables! 
Tell us a little bit about the people who visit your shop.
We are not a typical neighbourhood place, although located on Friedrichstrasse our shop is in a quite abandoned part of Kreuzberg, close to the former wall and Checkpoint Charlie. Nonetheless, we have a great mix of people who work nearby (there are a lot of media companies, galleries, agencies and increasingly start-up companies around us), explore the area between Checkpoint Charlie and the Jewish museum as tourists, and more and more specialty coffee people!

How's your day going?
My day was good, thank you. I checked in on the shop and the staff in the morning and everyone seemed happy, although we’re having crazy weather right now. It feels like we’re in a laundrette: hot and humid with tons of rain. I did a quick run to the gym, and on on the way back did some shopping for the store. Now finally I’m sitting down with some more focused office work. It’s quiet, everyone has left, and I am alone in my little back office behind the big lightbox.