Stairs Bar – Every ecological advancement starts with small steps, or should that be Stairs?
I live in the Western part of Berlin, where the number of bars is rather small. You always hear that this or that district is on the rise, but in fact it is the City West. In recent years serious bars have opened their doors and the existing ones have been causing a bit of a stir. In the Roaring Twenties, the area experienced its first heyday. The most famous boulevard, Kurfürstendamm, represents Berlin just like the Champs Élysées for Paris and Las Ramblas for Barcelona. It is a perfect location for sophisticated drinking dens.
If you turn off the Kudamm onto Uhland Straße you will find Stairs bar, which opened its doors over a year ago. Inconspicuously, the bar entrance is lost in a row of houses and only those in the know would know to ring the doorbell to gain entry. Once inside, a friendly welcome awaits you.
A bar with a bell, for me always a good sign, a promise of exclusivity and surprises.
As soon as you step in you know where the name of the bar comes from. You have to climb stairs to enter the main room. Stairs is the motto and the recurrent theme in all the details from the interior to the cocktail menu. A modern chandelier over the bar, street art on the walls, a separate room with comfy leather seats. Black and white dominates the bar area and an impressive back bar houses a collection of spirits mainly focussed on whisk(e)y and rum. The shape of the back bar? Stairs! The interior décor was selected with a lot of love for detail and is waiting to be discovered. During my last visit, the carpet in the side room caught my eye, 3D stairs, a nice play on an optical illusion.
This is a place where you can either find your seat at the bar and chat with the bartenders or find a more social seat with friends in the side room. My personal highlight is the different seating levels. The bar offers the typical seat height but you can also climb a few stairs and sit as if you are at your dining table at home. The cocktail menu fits the motto of the bar as well. Each cocktail comes in three stages. The classic version, a twist and a signature drink. For example, my all time favourite “Aviation” comes first with the classic recipe, second as a “Violette Fizz” with aquafaba and soda and third as “Mad in Pursuit” with Genever, lemon, sugar, creme de violette, raspberry and champagne. They have taken classics and tailored them to the bar concept. Ever changing variations can be found on the board at the bar or just ask the bartender: you are in good hands. The water service is right there when you find your spot in the bar and alongside the drinks you get a tasty nut mix.
Aside from the elegant interior and the delicious drinks, it’s the level of attention from the bar team that grabs you from the first visit. Attention on the guests and attention to the environment.
It is not only the design of the bar and its hospitality that has made a special name for Stairs but also because of its approach to sustainability and zero waste. An important topic at the moment worldwide and especially in gastronomy. It is a contribution to the environment and also to saving money.
Konstantin Hennrich, owner and brain behind the bar, Kersten Wruck, passionate bartender, decided together just to do it: to start to implement simple easy things like banish all plastic straws and paper napkins from the bar. The bar team does not use fresh citrus fruits which produce a lot of waste. Instead, they produce homemade lemon and lime water where you need 10 times less citrus fruits to get the same result. They now also supply many other bars in the city. They refrain from animal products and use aquafaba, the liquid hiding in your can of chickpeas, as egg replacement. To clarify the uber delicious milk punch they use vegetable milk. Oh, the milk punch is off-menu. Ask for it the next time, but be cautious, it was Stairs that created my current milk punch craze.
Hospitality and sustainability packaged in an extravagant speakeasy-esque bar.
“Describe yourself as a cocktail?” I asked Konstantin, my favourite bartender question. His answer “a Ranglum”. A modern rum, kind of tiki, drink. Invented by Gonçalo de Sousa Monteiro, the drink combines two kind of rum with the intense spiciness of falernum and fresh lime juice. It seems sweet but it is more spirited and rough like a pirate. It is a versatile drink and needs some attention in balancing the sweet and sour. The drink goes down easily. Looks sweet but he’s a sly old dog! The drink I mean 🙂
I like the vibe of stairs a lot. Beside the palate the ears are treated well by a pleasant mix of Hip Hop, R’n’B, soul and jazz. The lighting concept is great for taking photos, but this will be a special adventure coming soon. The pictures you see here are a small preview and provided by licht | form | farbe © Markus Fahs
Do you want to improve your ecological footprint? Drink at Stairs 🙂 Lucky me! It’s in walking distance. Visit Stairs Bar Berlin