When you go to Berlin, there are a few places you need to cross off your to-do list. Ever since the first time I went to Berlin in 2006, I kept hearing the same story over and over again. Bar25 is closing, this is the last party – WE HAVE TO GO! In 2010, one of the few bars that could take on the legendary club Berghain in popularity and fame, finally closed its doors. It was a sentimental day for many Berliners and tourists alike, when this rock in Berlin’s party scene disappeared. Lucky for us, the neverending story seems to have a sequel.

This year, Bar25 relocated and opened up with the new name Kater Holzig. It is located at Michaelkirchstr 22 in Kreuzberg. With a slightly different concept, on the other side of the Spree in an old soap factory the official opening takes place on the 1st of June. Changing the name from Bar25 to Kater Holzig shows that it is not just a copy of Bar25 (mission impossible), but it will still play great electronic music to dance to all night long.

Your Bar25 night (or day) might not be anything like the famous Berlin calling experience, but nonetheless something to remember. Countless photos were taken inside the Bar25 photobooth, dubious incidents happened in the bathrooms or out in the open, and me, I swam across the Spree in a beautiful sunrise after dancing the night away in my bathing suit. (Very irresponsible and unhygienic, but it’s now crossed off my Berlin-list forever.) Dancing until sunrise and hanging out with my friends is why I’ve been eagerly waiting for an heir for this legendary bar!

Fast forward 3 weeks.

While Kathrine had written this post a while back (we held back with publishing it as the opening date for Kater Holzig kept being pushed back), I, Katja, recently had a chance to try out the new restaurant at Kater Holzig. An experience that was quite memorable and deserves attention in the light of this post.

I love trying out new restaurants, so when my friend Caroline had booked us a table here, I was exited to see what this new place holds in store, particularly as it is already a legend, being the follow-up for what once was Berlin’s most prized possesion. Conditions were perfect with the sun setting right that moment and friendly faces greeting us inside.

We got a lovely window spot from which we could best admire the new restaurant, which comes with lots of wooden features and quirky details such as odd Asian statues and grafiti-covered brick walls. There is an open kitchen and unpretentious wait staff with colorful hair and piercings, looking like they came straight out of a 90s grunge band. If you’re lucky, you might catch one of the popular tables on the terrace with a fantastic view over the Spree and the people hanging out in the bar area below.

While, on first impression, the restaurant appears to subscribe to some sort of shabby chic, the food could not be further away from it. There is an exquisite, weekly changing menu of 4 starters and 4 main courses with mains costing around 24€ and starters around 9€. We opted for the Cod Saltimboca with beans, spinach, plums and potatoes with a parsley-riesling-froth. Food came out fast and tasted extremely delicious.

One of the perks of eating here is of course that the bar to go to after is simply down the steps. There, you can sit by the water, hang out by the bar or perform some after-dinner yoga, like these guys did.

As Kathrine hinted at, the overall concept for this place has been slightly changed. The Kater-team now much more see themselves as a cultural playground with a cinema, restaurant, theater, lounge as well as practise spaces for bands and artists. I do like the sound of that and look forward to spending mild summer nights right there, next to the bonfire.

all photos by Katja Hentschel


Kathrine Opshaug Bakke Kathrine Opshaug Bakke, editor at Travelettes from 2009 to 2013, wrote this post. Originating from Norway, she has been living in Berlin, Lisbon, and Stockholm the past 6 years.

She loves cities with imperfect facades, photography, traveling by bike, vintage hunting, and everything that comes with cheese. Follow her visual diary at anchoredpaperplane.com.