THIS DIMLY LIT BASEMENT BAR, WHICH FACES THE U-BAHN TRAIN LINE, IS A TIMELESS SLICE OF AMERICA IN BERLIN. AS A COCKTAIL BAR, WITH AN IMMENSE BACK-SHELF OF MALTS, BOURBONS AND RYES, IT COMES WITH AN ENLIGHTENED BUNCH OF MIXOLOGISTS WHO MORE THAN OFTEN DOUBLE UP AS LOCAL DJS OR TOURING MUSICIANS.
One such bartender is Milly Blue, a UK-born singer-songwriter, who plays amidst the city's late-night bars and venues. "From behind the bar, in the half-light, it can take a second or two to recognise the faces of people coming in, emerging between the red velvet curtains," states Milly. Indeed, the expat haven also serves as a magnet for music types from around the world, with its sleek cocktail-speakeasy vibes, informed music selection and a regular crowd with many a story to tell. "Most excitingly for me, Walter Schreifels [Quicksand, Rival Schools] has visited more than once. A face I couldn’t believe I recognised!"
A true rock ’n’ roll getaway, where malt and gin cocktails are the drinks of choice – along with a wide selection of craft beers – John Muir is a departure from the hectic and often grey world outside. Here, amidst its red-brick walls, candlelit tables and Addams Family pinball machine, is a refuge of well-worn and established locals, who will happily share some tales of the road in this late-night den. And if not, the bar staff have plenty of their own tales you can tune in to. "I think it is the perfect spot to hide away, if you want an inconspicuous, boozy-woozy time," Milly adds. Rock up, pull up a pew and tune in. Who knows who you might find yourself sitting next to?