Red Berlin is apparently closed. If anyone visits and finds it re-opened, please let us know.
If you’ve been wondering where all the young people are in Karlovy Vary, Rotes Berlin may well be your answer. It’s a daytime café/nighttime bar/weekend music-venue behind an unassuming facade on Jaltska Ul, not far from the train and bus stations. You’ll find it open on weekdays from Noon to 2am, on Saturday from 3pm to 2am and on Sunday it’s closed.
Cold war chic
Rotes Berlin means Red Berlin, and as you might expect there’s a bit of a cold war industrial theme to the place. The windows are blocked out with reproduction scenes of the Berlin wall, signs advise that “You are now leaving the American sector” and there’s barbed wire preventing you from climbing up the steel framework that looks like it has been salvaged from an old train station.
Pride of place in the decoration goes to a skeletal version of the Angel from the victory column in Berlin. Even if you’ve never been to Berlin, you might know the sculpture from the legendary Wim Wenders films; Wings of Desire and Faraway So Close.
Dj’s in deep red
The entry door deposits you at one end of the long bar and to your right are two rows of booths with space for about six people each. Along with the bar stools there are probably enough seats for about fifty people. In keeping with the name, most of the bar has been painted a deep and intense shade of cherry red. Except for richly moulded ceiling, which is gold. A huge mirror ball hangs from the ceiling above the pool table, which is covered in drink-stained felt that was once red. The table presumably gets moved out when there’s a live DJ playing, which seems to be most Saturday nights. If you’re interested it could be worth checking their website to find out what’s coming up.
Young end of town
The beer on tap is Pilsner and a half litre will set you back 25Kč. Soft drink and coffee both go for 25Kč, and the coffee is quite good. When I visited at night, the music was drum and bass, and the next afternoon they were playing one of U2’s older albums. Both times I was the oldest person there, which was a contrast to the spa end of town, where I think I was the youngest person not wearing an apron or carrying a tray of drinks. No matter whether you’re 18 or 38, Rotes Berlin is good place to stop into at least once while you’re in Karlovy Vary. Just one tip; don’t get drawn into adjudicating disputes between drunken Russians over the pool table.
That’s another story though. Say hi to Golden Lizzy for us!