|Project Name||KINK||Posted in||Bars, Restaurants, Design, Interior Design, Art||Location||
176 Schönhauser Allee
Located in Pfefferberg, a former mid-19th century brewery turned multidisciplinary cultural centre in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg, KINK is a unique venue where gastronomy and mixology fuse into one cohesive experience. Founded by Oliver Mansaray and Daniel Scheppan, whose shared passion lies at the intersection between international food and drinking cultures, KINK brings together a bar, restaurant and in-house culinary laboratory in a space that fittingly marries the building’s historic legacy and architectural heritage with contemporary art and design.
Mansaray and Daniel couldn’t have picked a better venue than Pfefferberg for their experimental venture. Founded by local residents in 1990, the transformation of the long-abandoned brewery into galleries, artist studios and event venues addressed lingering sentiments of segregation and displacement - Prenzlauer Berg being an area of Berlin that was once divided by the Berlin wall. Inspired by Pfefferberg’s cultural ambition, which boasts a year-long programme of concerts, dance and theatre performances, KINK’s focus on the culinary and cocktail arts is complemented by its embrace of applied and decorative arts. “We cherish art that interrogates, moves and stimulates exchange”, the founders explain. “Art reveals differences – and similarities.”
The historic building’s industrial heritage is infused with contemporary art and design, most notably in the 8-metres-high hall at the heart of KINK where the exposed, centuries-old building structure is complemented by classic and vintage furniture, including Hans Hopfer-designed Mah Jong sofas for Roche Bobois, North Africa-inspired Berberlin handcrafted rugs, and artwork by German artist Philipp Emanuel Eyrich.
The space is dominated by Swiss artist Kerim Seiler’s imposing neon light installation suspended above the central open kitchen and bar designed by Berlin studio Hidden Fortress. Seiler’s sculptural work explores the interrelation between materiality and spirituality, engaging with space both physically and conceptually, and this installation is no exception. Titled ‘Spaceknot (Pfefferberg)’, Seiler’s site-specific work consists of over 100 metres of red neon tubes that effortlessly twist and loop through the space, uncannily fleshing out the three-dimensionality of the central void.
Designed as a communal zone, the central open kitchen and bar area features overlapping seating, serving counters and work stations where guests and staff intermingle, while more intimate seating areas fan out from the main hall, including a mezzanine lounge accessed through an antique cast iron spiral staircase. A separate daylight-filled dining space overlooking Pfefferberg’s beer garden, one of the oldest in Berlin, and a private dining room complete KINK’s multifaceted character.
Italian chef Ivano Pirolo, most recently chef de partie at the two-Michelin-starred FACIL in Berlin, and Indian-born bar manager and mixologist Arun Puvanendran, have re-worked a range of processes, from fermentation and sous-vide to distillation and infusion, to produce a complementary selection of creative dishes and inventive beverages. A re-jigged Classic Margarita can be paired, for example, with a deconstructed taco, while a contemporary version of a penicillin mixed drink goes splendidly with an order of Chicorée filled with minced lamb and mole.
If the open kitchen and bar area embodies KINK’s heart then the adjacent “laboratory” represents its creative mind. Reflecting Mansaray and Scheppan’s experimental and synergetic approach to gastronomy and mixology, the space functions as an open workshop where modern techniques and culinary expertise come together, with Pirolo and Puvanendran hosting a monthly Lab Day for those looking to hone their culinary and mixology skills. With a cultural programme that includes electronic, house and disco DJs and classical music performances, we have no doubt that KINK will excel in its goal to become “a socio-cultural space for healing, reconstruction and discovery”.