Schöneberg’s Akazienstraße, Berlin
Written by Fiona Brutscher
The former West Berlin is increasingly being rediscovered by trendsetters. Schöneberg’s Akazienstraße, with its diverse mix of creativity and tradition, shows why.
For those who call Berlin home, their neighbourhood – affectionately known as ‘Kiez’ – is a refuge within the big city. After the Berlin Wall came down, former East German districts were overrun by young, hip urbanites, driving out the old residents. Meanwhile, Schöneberg retained its old charm. Of late, the neighbourhood has gradually been attracting hipsters and young families, who mingle with established locals and immigrants from all walks of life.
Stefan Leo likes to start his day with a coffee, expertly prepared by the barista at Double Eye on Akazienstraße, at the heart of his Kiez Schöneberg. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, nearby Winterfeldtmarkt is the place to be. Proud local Stefan insists that this weekly market, offering everything from fresh farm produce to crafts, is the best in all of Berlin.
Back on Akazienstraße, vintage fabric store Fichu has been doing business since 1964. Owner Oleg is a Kiez legend and supplies everyone from local fashionistas to international costumers with an eye-popping array of cloths and buttons. The tiny space, bursting at the seams with shapes and colours, is also a treasure trove for a designer looking for inspiration. If Stefan is in the mood for something a bit more sedate, he likes to browse the shelves at Akazien-Buchhandlung, a well-stocked small, traditional bookshop.
No afternoon in Berlin could be complete without the German tradition ofKaffee und Kuchen – and Stefan likes to have his at Deer. Named after the animal that graces the Schöneberg emblem, Deer serves the best cake of the Kiez, with a side of friendly neighbourhood chat.
In the evenings, locals meet for a glass of wine accompanied by tapas at La Vendemmia. For something a little more substantial, Stefan suggests the Boeuf Bourguignon at La Cocotte, where Akazienstraße in Schöneberg suddenly feels like a side street in St Germain.
Stefan Leo is a self-taught artisan and designer who acquired a variety of skills and an appreciation for handcrafted objects on his travels around the world. Using precious materials in unusual and unexpected ways, he creates beautiful and unique objects in his Berlin studio for clients all over the world.