Cafe Einstein, Kurfürstenstrasse, Tiergarten, Berlin, Deutschland / Kurfürstenstraße Cafe Einstein Berlin Deutschland Cafe Einstein Kurfürstenstraße Tiergarten Berlin Germany Kurfürstenstraße Cafe Einstein Berlin Germany

Flaneurs and writers have a pretty good chance of meeting soul mates at Café Einstein on Kurfürstenstrasse. But the old-school coffee house is showing its age and is in urgent need of renovation. That’s why it has to close for about a year and a half starting in November.

A replacement is already in sight. Managing director Philipp Hasse-Pratje wants to open two new restaurants in the fall. He has rented a small restaurant called Amon with around 50 seats, which is to replace the bar on the upper floor, at Charlottenstrasse 35 in Mitte.

The second restaurant will upgrade the still somewhat arid infrastructure in the new Europacity. For this he has rented rooms at Heidestrasse 15 in the building of the Central Motorway GmbH of the Federal Government. There will be a north-west facing terrace facing the park and perhaps next summer there will also be tables on the wide, south-facing walkway.

In total, the restaurant, which the managing director is furnishing according to his own ideas without the help of interior designers, will have 150 seats. Based on the initials of his name, it will simply be called the PHP restaurant. The pastry shop, which was previously housed in the cellar of the old villa and was responsible for the constant supply of apple strudel, cakes, fresh rolls and bread, is also moving there.

There is finally enough space there to set up a regular takeaway sale. It never worked systematically in the old Einstein, a sales stand simply didn’t fit the style of the premises. With around 15,000 office jobs in the neighborhood, there shouldn’t be a shortage of customers for high-quality baked goods on Heidestrasse.

As a precaution, Philipp Hasse-Pratje has signed the lease for 20 years, which means that the PHP restaurant will remain in Europa-City even if the coffee house in Kurfürstenstraße opens its doors again.

“I definitely didn’t want to lay off my 60 employees,” he says. The two new locations now not only offer regular guests the opportunity to continue enjoying the familiar specialties even during the closing time.

In addition, Philipp Hasse-Pratje, who took over the coffee house in 2005, has the opportunity to promote deserving employees through the new locations. The classic style should be retained, the waiters will continue to wear uniforms and will only address their guests on first-name terms if they, as regular customers, really want it.

Philipp Hasse-Pratje promises that the café with the beautiful enchanted garden in the listed old villa, in which film diva Henny Porten is said to have frequented, will be recognizable after the renovation. The main thing is to repair the electrical system and pipes. Sometimes there have been outages at the wrong time in recent years.

Initially, together with the landlord, the association of Berlin-Brandenburg housing companies BBU, he considered carrying out the renovation bit by bit, i.e. closing the building for a few weeks at a time over a longer period of time. But it could probably be done better in one go.

The menus in the new restaurants will be similar to those in the old Einstein. One focus will be on German-Austrian cuisine with a Mediterranean twist. When the villa on Kurfürstenstrasse has been renovated and reopened as a Viennese-style coffee house, he wants to reduce the Austrian elements in the new restaurants. However, he interferes as little as possible in the design of the menu. He prefers to leave that to his employees, “because they know best what the guests like”.

He doesn’t want to take the interior with him or store it. Tables, chairs, plates and cups are likely to be sold at an event in November. This way, regular guests can still buy a few relevant Christmas gifts and do something good at the same time, because the proceeds go to the Berlin Zoo as a donation.

First of all, Philipp Hasse-Pratje wants to throw a big party with his employees when the last guest has paid his bill at the end of October. He probably wants to open the Amon on October 4th. And in the PHP restaurant, Schnitzel and Strudel can probably be feasted on from November 7th.