Clärchen's ball house
Celebrate like in the 20s
An extraordinary cultural tip for all those who are interested in style, ambience and dance of the 1920s, is Clärchen's Ballhaus, which is within 15 minutes walking distance from the Hotel Augustinenhof.
Built around 1895, the Wilhelminian style building has housed a dance hall for over 100 years and still invites you to classical and modern dances several times a week.
Besides swing, salsa and chacha there are of course plenty of opportunities for the well-known waltz. Guests who want to swing their legs but have no real experience are professionally instructed by dance teachers in regular newcomer courses.
People who visit the restaurant alone will quickly find a dance partner. Table telephones invite to flirt and facilitate the invitation of the table neighbour to the next dance.
Clärchen's Ballhaus is unique in Berlin and this does not only apply to the location.
An audience of different age groups can be found here. Young dances with old, the present with the past. The special musical combination, which is repeatedly alternated by live music, attracts a wide audience to the Ballhaus today and inspires not only classical music fans.
Warm kitchen from 12.30 pm
Clärchen's ball house is also the right address for a culinary excursion into German-Italian cuisine.
But whoever dines here should always expect to be interrupted and asked to dance. Guests can eat and drink in the outside area of the Ballhaus, where the front building stood before the Second World War, comfortably and undisturbed.
History of the ball house
"Bühlers Ballhaus" was opened in 1913 by Clara and Fritz Bühler. After her husband died in World War I, Clara continued to run the Ballhaus under her own management and renamed it "Clärchen Ballhaus".
Two dance halls were open to the public:
The large hall on the ground floor served the "common people" as a dance floor, the hall of mirrors on the upper floor was reserved for fine society.
During World War II, the magnificent Hall of Mirrors became a storeroom, the entire front building was destroyed.
After the end of the war, operations in the rear building were resumed. However, under the leadership of Clara's relatives, the ball house did not return to its old form. The family business was sold by Clara's grandson in 2003 and was closed shortly afterwards.
In 2004 Christian Schulz and David Regehr helped Clärchen's Ballhaus back to its former glory.
The Ballhaus was reopened in the authentic Berlin Shabby-Chick look without much hype and extensive renovation measures.
The Mirror Hall on the upper floor was also rediscovered as an event room and is now regularly used for concerts and cultural evenings, but also rented out.
From the very beginning, Clärchen's ball house attracted the city's artists and creative minds.
Heinrich Zille had a regular place at the counter to draw and Otto Dix designed the poster, which is still used as the logo of the restaurant today. In addition, the Ballhaus is mentioned in Alfred Döblin's famous novel "Berlin Alexanderplatz" as the popular restaurant of the protagonist Franz Bieberkopf.
Even today it is still the subject of literature and cinematic stagings. Especially the hall of mirrors, which has the decayed splendour of a bygone era, has a special charm, which is used, for example, for film versions such as Inglourious Bastards.