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Commercial changes: Developments in Bonn's city centre

Commercial changes : Developments in Bonn's city centre

Corona is not the only thing to have left its mark on Bonn's city centre. There have also been some changes in the commercial world. We take a tour and find out.

Marion Schäfer is calling it a day. For several years, the businesswoman has been fighting for the organic market, which is held twice a week on the small square in front of the Kaiserpassage on Wesselstraße, to be moved to another location. Now she is giving up the fight. For 20 years, she has been selling high-end art, furniture, jewellery and accessories in her shop ‘Art Deco’. At the end of August, she will be closing her door forever. Other shops in Bonn’s city centre have also given up following long closures enforced by the Corona Protection Ordinance.

“The organic market is only one reason why I am closing,” says Schäfer. Corona had also affected her and in particular the development of the Kaiserpassage in recent years. “There used to be a lot of shops here,” she recalls, “we enriched one other.” But as the number of vacancies in the arcade increased, customers stayed away from her shop too. And then the organic market moved from Münsterplatz to her side because of the construction site around the cathedral. “It's like a city wall and covers the whole shop,” Schäfer complains. “After all, I also live off customers who are just passing by”. Her complaints and requests to the city authorities to relocate the market went unheard, she reports.

However, she does not want to sit back twiddling her thumbs after the closure of her shop. “I will continue to deal in art,” she says. She does not know who the next tenant will be. She has only discovered that an Asian grocery shop will be moving into the former dm store. She also finds it a shame that the espresso bar Galestro is closing. As reported, operator Wulf Schlichte is giving up due to the pandemic, but also because of the new bakery next door, which is allowed to use half of his terrace. “But I have a good chance of a new property in the city centre," he revealed to the GA on Friday.

Walk a little further in the direction of the town hall and you will notice large signs in the windows of a shop on Am Hof, which has been empty for years and was once home to the traditional Bouvier bookshop: ‘Rented’. We were unable to find out who will be moving in here. A corona rapid test centre has taken up residence in the former travel agency a few metres away on the corner of the Marktplatz. These test centres have mushroomed all over the city. Not least because the earning potential is not bad - at least for the time being. That is the reason why the operator of a gift shop on Sternstraße has also temporarily switched to a rapid test centre, the staff tell the GA.

Tattoo studios are currently in vogue, especially among younger people. More and more of them can be seen in the cityscape, such as now in Friedrichstraße, where such a studio has moved into the former premises of the fashion and accessories shop ‘Wunderbar’. A few metres further along, on the right-hand side in the former Betten-Nießen store, ‘gorilla’ has set up shop - not a new bike store, as one might first think from the number of bikes in the front salesroom and along the street - but a rapid food delivery service. It promises that the goods will reach the customer by bike within ten minutes.

Back to Sternstraße: The cigar shop on the corner of Sternstraße and Bonngasse is obviously also a thing of the past. At least that's what the ‘rented’ signs in the shop windows say. We were unable to find out whether, unlike tattoos, cigars are no longer in, nor who the new tenant will be. The Geox shop (shoes and fashion) on Sternstraße next to the Lazzarin ice cream shop and two other shoe shops nearby have also closed. The former ‘Bären’ restaurant, where the fashion chain H&M most recently sold its clothing, is currently undergoing major renovation work.

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen, Translation: Caroline Kusch)