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“A Meal in the Old Decadent Ballroom ”

Claerchen's Ballhaus
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USD 26.26*
and up
Private Bike Tour of Tiergarten and Berlin's...
Ranked #15 of 667 Nightlife in Berlin
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: On September 13th 1913 Fritz Bühler opened the dance hall “Bühlers Ballhaus” (Bühler’s Ball- room) in the backyard of another building. It became known as “Clärchens Ballhaus” after Bühler was killed in WWI and his widow, Clara, took over the business. When exactly the fabled buildings were erected no one knows – official records were lost during WWII. It could be that they were commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II’s butler. But that might be just one of the many legends that surround the house, its inhabitants, and its patrons. Clärchens Ballhaus is, as it were, a kind of story machine, a site of conjecture. The German illustrator and photographer Heinrich Zille had his regular place at the bar, where he used to sit and draw. And Otto Dix painted the poster in 1931, which is still used today. Until the 1940s there were two halls: While the crowds swayed along to the popular ballads of the time in the great ballroom on the ground floor, the dignified ladies and gentlemen of the Spandauer Vorstadt would dance with aristocratic pomp in the mirrored ballroom upstairs. There was also a bowling alley in the cellar. After WWII the mirrored ballroom remained closed, and the bowling alley was used to store coal. The front building was so badly damaged by bombing that it had to be torn down. This made the entrance to the Ballhaus visible from the street - and it looks much the same today. The dancing started up again in the ground floor ballroom – Clärchens defined nightlife in Berlin Mitte for more than 100 years. In January 2005 the previously low rent was raised to meet Berlin Mitte standards, and the Ballhaus changed hands. The new operators have left its interior largely untouched. In 2005 the mirrored ballroom opened for the public for the first time since WWII.
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

Found in the Mitte area of Berlin this restaurant is right in the centre of the capital. My partner and I ate in the upstairs ballroom for lunch.
On first appearance the building appears dilapidated, with pealing walls and damaged furniture. However once upstairs and at the entrance to the ballroom you gain a glimpse of romantic candle lit tables which are sat under a large hanging chandelier.
The restaurant is very spacious with a handful of different size tables spread through the ballroom, adding to a very dispersed atmosphere of distant conversations from other tables.
The lunch service was managed by a single gentleman who was dressed in traditional smart dinner clothes. He was exceptionally friendly and even took a photo of my partner and I in the ballroom.
Once seated a complimentary basket of rye and smoked bread with olives and garnishes were provided. The olives were some of the tastiest I have eaten and went down very easily with a wheat beer from the drinks menu.
There is a lunch menu and mains al a carte menu to choose your food from. There is a good range of meals at prices from <€9.00 to almost €30.00 per dish. There are vegetarian friendly options. The food provided ranges from rustic pizza to classic german meals.
Once ordered the food came promptly and was of a high quality. The portions are large (especially for meat dishes off of the main al a carte menu). I was very satisfied after my meal and it put me in good stead to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the area.
Unfortunately the toilets are rather dirty and very cold. If this was amended I believe this restaurant would offer a perfect quirky lunch.

Thank Jack Phillip B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"schnitzel"
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"water buffalo"
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"early twentieth century"
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"german cuisine"
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"all ages"
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"step back in time"
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"east berlin"
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"lesson"
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Reviewed 3 April 2018

I had no idea what to expect from this place but I was so happy with what we found! We went to the main Ballhaus at about 9pm on a Saturday night. There are two bars, quite a few tables around the outside of the dance floor, and a big dance floor. The room is a traditional dance hall decorated with lots of glitter and tinsel and sparkly streamers. The first couple of hours there was a DJ playing an amazing selection of cheesy classic pop classics (think Dirty Dancing soundtrack, ABBA, Bon Jovi, the Police, the Beatles, the Spice Girls etc), then there was a live band doing covers of great rock and pop hits, and then the DJ came back but with a more updated set of modern club classics and dance hits. When we first arrived the crowd was really mixed - older people (60+), kids, families, couples, groups of friends etc. Around about midnight or 1am it was mainly only young groups of friends and couples. It is a completely unique place. Basically we thought it felt like being at the most fun wedding in the world - a crazy mix of people thrown together but having the best time of their life!

Thank Sophie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2018

I have been here a few times, always crowded and loud, with unique atmosphere and dance classes for everyone. In this place you may enjoy tasty German dishes. I recommend to come here, although after third visit it seemed to me a little bit boring and tiring.

Thank marcin18w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2018

A local recommended this restaurant to me. It is in a large dance hall that also features dance and dance lessons if you want to eat around the dance floor. It definitely feels like old school Berlin

The service was good and prompt and respectful. Beer selection was fine and decent wine

We had the Schnitzel and Beef Stef. Good value overall

Thank AlcoholProf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 February 2018 via mobile

The most extraordinary experience in a long time, this establishment is full of historical value and can offer you both a good meal and atmosphere, whether you like ballroom dancing or simply spectating.

You won’t be disappointed if you don’t have high expectations. Food is good.

Thank Ste11o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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