Berlin's artistic vagabond restaurant a surprise hit

Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:09am EDT
 
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By Michelle Martin

BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - A British set designer has taken his love for art, added some food, and opened a temporary pop-up restaurant -- made with scrap materials scavenged from the streets -- in one of Berlin's central community gardens.

Tony Hornecker, the mastermind behind the thriving shanty town-style restaurant "The Pale Blue Door," said that he does not make any profit with his fanciful underground restaurant, but feels that he is giving Berlin a unique attraction.

"A lot of people are saying it's a such a quintessentially Berlin experience that doesn't really exist any more in Berlin, but we've managed to get back to that," he said, referring to the city's spontaneous art scene.

"The Pale Blue Door," named after the battered door through which guests enter the mismatched collection of ramshackle huts, shacks and treehouses draped with brightly colored fabrics in the Kreuzberg district, has been going down a storm with Berliners.

"It's been sold out, we've had 60 people a night for 20 nights," Hornecker told Reuters.

The pop-up restaurant, which took 10 days to build, has been so popular that its initial 12-day stay in the German capital city has already been extended by three weeks.

On four nights a week, for 25 euros a head, guests can tuck into a salad starter, a main course of roast beef, potato and greens, followed by a fruit crumble -- all accompanied by half a bottle of wine and "contemporary drag" entertainment.

The dinner is cooked up by Hornecker himself, served on mismatched crockery and eaten either in a central outdoor seating area, or on beds in one of the small huts which double up as the team's living accommodation.   Continued...

 
<p>British set designer Tony Hornecker prepares dinner at his restaurant "The Pale Blue Door" in Berlin, September 12, 2010. A British set designer has taken his love for art, added some food, and opened a temporary pop-up restaurant -- made with scrap materials scavenged from the streets -- in one of Berlin's central community gardens. Tony Hornecker, the mastermind behind the thriving shanty town-style restaurant "The Pale Blue Door", said that he does not make any profits with his fanciful underground restaurant, but feels that he is giving Berlin a unique attraction. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz</p>