Construction work in many stores A look at changes and renovations in Bonn's city center

Bonn · One notices many buildings and stores under construction while walking through Bonn city center in these days. Some of the renovations are due to buildings, stores or restaurants changing hands and updating. Some closures are pandemic-related but not exclusively. Here is a look at what changes are taking place.

 The boutique “Joyce & Girls”  on Friedrichstrasse will close in a few weeks after 30 years of business.

The boutique “Joyce & Girls”  on Friedrichstrasse will close in a few weeks after 30 years of business.

Foto: Meike Böschemeyer

As soon as the sun peeks through the clouds these days, as it did recently - and probably will again this Saturday - the outdoor terraces and benches on the squares in Bonn's city center fill up quickly. Despite some prophets of doom, the city center seems to have lost none of its appeal. This is also evident from the fact that vacant storefronts usually find new tenants quickly. Like on Friedensplatz, for example.

For a few years, a frozen yogurt shop was in the small space right next to McDonald's, and now a kebab snack bar has moved in. A recent sales promotion at the kebab place attracted lots of attention.  When word got out that customers could get a kebab for only one cent in connection with the new opening, a long line formed in front of the snack bar called “Haus des Döners”.

In the end, the crowd was so large that police officers had to ensure order so the Covid rules could be followed. The opening of rapper Xatar's Köfte snack bar in a tiny space in a building on Stockenstrasse almost two years ago was similar. Later the snack bar moved to Marktplatz but without any fanfare.

It’s difficult to say whether visitors to Bonn are especially hungry when they come to the city center.  In an interview with the GA, one businesswoman expresses this thought in view of the increasing number of eateries in the city center - but it can hardly be proven statistically speaking. Angelika Niemann, a sales staff member at “Joyce & Girls” on Friedrichstrasse does not know if the successor of her boutique will offer food and drink. But she has heard that a restaurant operator has expressed interest. She laments that the pandemic and lockdown has taken its toll on the boutique, causing it to close down for good. Although government aid had been received, it was nowhere near enough.

Only recently, Karin Neuefeind from the store “Schuh-Schuh”, which has also been on Friedrichstrasse for many years, had announced in the General-Anzeiger that she would probably close her store in June. Like Niemann, the 63-year-old said the pandemic was one reason, but also to blame was the increasing bureaucracy and the high tax burden.

A little further on near Friedensplatz, the “La Cigale” restaurant in the Jacobs wine house is currently closed. But a sign on the door says it is only temporary due to renovation work.  A reopening is planned for March 8.

The commercial and residential building on the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Kesselgasse is still being renovated. In 2018, the property was sold and the new owner told the GA at the time that a restaurant would move in on the first floor.  Like in many other cases, however,  construction work has fallen behind schedule because of the pandemic. No information was available about a projected completion date. 

In general, one notices several construction sites in the city center. Besides the ongoing renovation of the facade of the Bonn Cathedral, the interior already having been completed and open to visitors, renovations are also taking place at the “Appelrath Cüpper” store on Remigiusplatz. It remains closed while the work takes place.

Extensive renovations at Mexican restaurant “Tacos"

On Bonngasse, the Mexican restaurant “Tacos has closed”. A sign posted on the door in mid-January announced a temporary closure for pandemic reasons. But extensive construction work on the entire building, which also housed a hotel, suggests major changes.

The “Pizzeria La Piccola” closed last year and that retail space on Bonngasse is being gutted. Apparently, a restaurant is to move in following renovations, as construction workers revealed to the GA. They did not know what type of restaurant, however.

On the corner of Münsterplatz and Am Dreieck, the entire building is up for lease. For many years, the Hussel confectionery company had been on the first floor. This building is also under renovation. A real estate brokerage said they expected it to be ready for leasing as of May 1.

Real estate agent Günter Udelhofen has already been successful in renting out the former premises of the Bouvier bookstore on Am Hof opposite the main university building. For contractual reasons, the company is not yet allowed to say who will be leasing it.

Not far away is the Café Extrablatt Am Neutor, which opened in the middle of the pandemic, then closed again and, according to a poster on the front door, will reopen on Tuesday next week.

The branch of Volksbank Köln-Bonn at the corner of Maximilianstrasse and Gangolfstrasse has moved temporarily to Oxfordstrasse. The entire building is being renovated, so other stores such as the Subway sandwich store had to make way. A mobile ATM in front of the building ensures that cash withdrawals can also continue to be made there. Kattwinkel says that it is not yet clear when the branch will open again at Ganggolfstrasse.

(Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)

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