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Buck & Breck
Brunnenstrasse 177, 10119 Berlin, Germany
WHILE WE MIGHT BE AT THE BREAKING POINT of intimate, speakeasy-style bars, there will always be one or two operators who take on the challenge and deliver something of note. This bar is a shining example, and the commitment to the concept, the integrity of the owner and the delivery of the drinks make it a worthy contender for the best of Germany on this list.
It was once said that a successful bar owner understood he was welcoming customers into his own living room and hosting them as though they were invited guests. Buck & Breck’s Gonçalo de Sousa Monteiro and Holger Groll come close to that principle. You have to knock on their door for a start, which is fair enough - the times when we can leave the door unlocked are long gone.
They don’t advertise the place, in the same way you don’t advertise your home. And when you get into the venue you’ll discover their bar is a room - a small, black room in fact, with seating-only room for a mere 14 guests around a table. Rather than the living room though, it feels like you’re sitting around a rather glamorous kitchen table, crocodile skin-covered as all quality kitchen tables should be.
The bartender presides from behind it like a chef and, while he doesn’t really interact with you, this works well, because most dinner parties are full of boring chat.
There is no elaborate back bar and branding is non-existent. Floor staff ask what you want, the host finds a winning mix, everyone is happy.
Ultimately, this place is about what’s in your glass and the person sitting next to you. That person is invariably impossibly attractive and doesn’t want anything to do with you, but no matter, because the drinks are astounding and that’s what you’ll remember.