The best article ever: Kate Connolly of the Guardian reports on a coffee shop in Berlin that has banned, among other things, strollers:
Ralf Rüller wanted to create a sacred ground for coffee connoisseurs in the heart of Berlin, somewhere devotees of the bean could sip their brews free from distraction.
This purist – not to say militant – approach to coffee-drinking extended to a long list of rules at his brew bar, the Barn Roastery, including a ban on extra milk, spoons, laptops, dogs, mobile phone ringtones, loud phone calls and "media" (apart from newspapers). Sugar is strongly discouraged.Nothing like a coffee shop with rules! But so many rules. And in Germany? Anticipating your thought, person-reared-on-"Seinfeld"-and-Britcoms - Connolly helpfully adds:
Before moving back to Berlin several years ago, Rüller worked as an actor in London where he often played Nazi soldiers in British TV war dramas. He says it feels as if he has been cast as the Nazi in his own coffeehouse drama.Apparently Rüller is called a coffee Nazi in Germany, which will come as news to those who hadn't realized the culinary use of the term would be kosher-as-it-were in those parts.
But I don't know. It doesn't sound as if children are banned, just strollers, which isn't so out-there. And all the insane attention to detail? All the superior coffee? I think it sounds fantastic, not fascistic:
The staff, who come from as far afield as Australia and Mexico, include Rob MacDonald, a dairy farmer from Australia who claims his tastebuds are so refined he can tell what a cow has eaten from the flavour of its milk. "I love this artistic approach to coffee," says the 27-year-old, who as well as training to be a barista is – perhaps inevitably – learning to play the jazz xylophone.And thus bringing hipsters-make-your-food to a whole new level.
*Ironic, I suppose, given how much the Barn Roastery approach to customer service reminds one of Fawlty Towers.