May 11, 2018
This atmospheric Kreuzberg bar has a definite shabby charm. The candle-lit room is high-ceilinged and stucco ornamented; the unadorned walls are only half-plastered and peeling and the bare tables and wooden chairs look like they have seen better days, giving the whole place an air of faded grandeur. The service, by bow-tied barmen, is discreet but friendly and professional and the place boasts an agreeably ample wine list. The clientele is slightly more mature here and that’s reflected in the chess-playing, faintly intellectual vibe this is definitely a good place to come to pick over a play after a night at the theatre. It is a popular spot though, so while the crowd never gets raucous, it can get busy, particularly as it isn’t an overlarge venue though everyone is very civilised, so even when packed it’s still very pleasant. While the low, ambient lighting gives Bellmann a definite romantic vibe (it often verges on dim), the lack of comfortable seating is a bit of a drawback if you’re out on a date those wooden, saved-from-the-schoolroom chairs aren’t made for lounging on but it’s still a great place to chat, and the low-key, relaxed atmosphere makes for an undemanding and unpretentious night out. Cocktails are potent and well-made (the White Russian comes recommended), and should you get peckish there is a small but satisfying menu to choose from. The background music tends to be jazz with a crowd like this, what else would you expect? but is generally unobtrusive, though the venue also occasionally hosts live music or events.