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“Finally I’ve been to a place while it’s still hip” – Adam visits the Monkey Bar

King Kong

King Kong — my drink at the Monkey Bar

Yesterday one of my ex-Jena colleagues and still cool friend, AK, arrived in Berlin in order to attend a workshop. Instead of bumming around and wasting her evening alone, she and I met up and bummed around and wasted her evening together.

Her hotel – Motel One Tiergarten – is actually fairly close to where I live, but I picked her up straight from the office and then set off wandering. Honestly I did not have a single destination in mind when we started, but then, as we headed toward Europa Center, it occurred to me that I’d been hearing about Berlin’s newest, hippest, bar, The Monkey Bar.

Monkey Bar

Seating that overlooks the zoo and Tiergarten at the Monkey Bar

This is the kind of place that is so hip that it gets reviewed in The New York Times – well, not the bar, but the hotel that it is a part of.

Sensing Colorspace

“Sensing Colorspace” is some kind of robotic “art” that is driven by noise levels (it loves clapping) as it draws on the wall of the bar.

We got there about 7:30 and, without investigating, grabbed two chairs and a tree-stump-table to call our own at the windows overlooking the zoo – right above the monkey cages (hence the appropriate name) – and the entirety of Tiergarten, one of Berlin’s many green, tree filled, parks.

Tiergarten

Tiergarten with the Siegessaule (victory column) in view.

Berlin Zoo

The Zoo, right below the windows.

To be blunt, the view is amazing.

This is probably not a place to visit on a cloudy/foggy/dreary day, but a place to be enjoyed when the sun is out and the view goes on for kilometers.

We both ordered (pricey) cocktails along with sweet potato fries – the fries were excellent and my cocktail, the “King Kong” was perfect: a tiny bit of sweetness and no hint of bitterness, despite the cherry bitters.

Our table...

Our cocktails — I believe the drink on the left, AK’s, is the Rickey – Tiki, while I had the King Kong on the right. The Sweet Potato fries were excellent.

The vista was worth hanging out for and we considered dinner at the hotel restaurant, but opted to head out for a walk.

Monkey Bar - DJ Booth

The DJ Booth at the Monkey Bar

Outdoor Spaces to Chill - Monkey Bar

Balcony Seating at the Monkey Bar

I’d happily return to the Monkey Bar – but given how busy it was on a Monday evening, I doubt that there’s an evening where it’s easy to get a table. As we left, we explored the rest of the bar – in addition to the indoor space, there’s a nice outdoor balcony with a nice view of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche and other parts of Berlin. That said, I loved the view of Tiergarten and would probably opt for the indoor spaces just for the view and reinforced by the fact that the balcony spaces allows smoking.

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche

The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche — slowly, but surely, the scaffolding is coming off of the church. I expect it to be fully exposed in 2024, shortly before the airport opens.

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