Openings: Zur Firma, Berlin
If the answers are genocide, apartheid and water-boarding, the question just might be … what are really terrible thematic ideas for a drinking establishment? And the reality of the mitigating effects, in some situations, of chronological distance seems to matter little to the mortified locals protesting Berlin’s new and brilliantly polarizing Stasi themed bar Zur Firma. Owners Will Gau and Wolfgang Schmelz certainly weren’t using subtlety as a guiding principle; not only is their bar adjacent to the former Ministry of State Security, but the space also used to house a Skinhead hangout.
Now the place is decked out in the frippery of oppression, including DDR posters, old typewriters, and even a mannequin done up as a member of the East German secret police. Which understandably has provoked quite a few reactions of a sort. Or for comparison purposes, imagine it’s New York, it’s 2020, and this is a Giuliani-themed bar. Chilling.