GA English on Sunday News in Brief from Bonn and the region

Further changes in Bonn’s city centre, plans to rename the Viktoria bridge after Guido Westerwelle, inclusive restaurants in Bonn receive Corona funding and cultural initiative to enrich Bad Godesberg - here is our news in brief on Sunday

GA English on Sunday: News in Brief from Bonn and the region
Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Changes in the city centre

BONN. Bonn's city centre is undergoing changes at an increasingly rapid pace. New shops open, only to close down a few months later. The popular Café Giaccomo on Bottlerplatz has closed after 20 years. Replacing it is the new restaurant Casbah, which already exists in Siegburg and will remain open there, owner Lukas Yiannakis emphasises. He had been looking for suitable premises in Bonn for many years and was pleased to be able to take over the restaurant "in a fantastic location". Yiannakis hopes to open his restaurant in Bonn as early as next Friday, depending on how quickly the construction work is completed.

The menu offers not only fish and meat but also many dishes for vegetarians and vegans, the restaurant owner reveals. The old towns in Morocco are called Casbah, he explains. "We have taken on the name, but it has nothing to do with our concept," says Yiannakis.Burger lovers will soon be spoilt for choice in the city.

A branch of "Jamy's Burger" will be opening in the former Beate Uhse shop on Bischofsplatz, as announced by the Limbach real estate agency. "Jamy's Burger" already has stores in Frankfurt, Darmstadt, Mannheim and Mainz.

The outdoor store McTrek in Friedrichstraße is currently running a clearance sale. However, the operator has found a new investor, thanks to whom the store will reopen with a new concept after a short closure in early September, staff report. Corona has also had a negative impact on business at this store. The new concept is primarily based on ranges of brand name goods for hiking and other outdoor activities. Until 2017, Steppenwolf had been selling sports and hiking goods in the store but ceased operations after 30 years.

(Original text: Lisa Inhoffen)

Proposal for renaming Viktoria bridge

BONN. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Bonn wants to rename the Viktoria bridge. Following completion at the end of next year, the bridge is to bear the name of the former Bonn Federal Minister, Guido Westerwelle. According to a press release this Friday, a motion from the Free Democrats will be considered at the next district council meeting on 25th August.

“Guido Westerwelle was a child of Bonn's old town at the foot of the Viktoria bridge,” explained Werner Hümmrich, the FDP’s mayoral candidate in Bonn. “He provided outstanding services to the Macke-Haus, which is located north of the Viktoria bridge. And recently he lived not far from the bridge in Bornheimer Strasse.”As the bridge has no residents, there are no costs associated with the renaming, said Franziska Mueller-Rech, district chair of the Bonn FDP and member of the state parliament.

“So with this proposal, we are not burdening Bonn's citizens or the city. On the other hand, we are honouring Guido Westerwelle's commitment to his beloved home town.” Westerwelle was a builder of bridges through and through. "He always brought all parties together for his initiatives to achieve the best possible outcome for Bonn. We therefore ask all parliamentary groups in the Bonn district council to approve our proposal.”

(Original text: buj)

Aktion Mensch provides financial support to two Bonn inclusion projects

BONN. The organisation Akton Mensch is providing emergency Corona aid for inclusion companies and has supported two Bonn projects with 20,000 euros each: Haus Müllestumpe, the first inclusive restaurant with a hotel and conference centre in Bonn, and Germany's first inclusive fast food restaurant Godesburger.The funding helped both restaurants to make the necessary adjustments and implement measures during the pandemic, explains Ann-Kathrin Akalin from Aktion Mensch. The organisation, which is headquartered in Bonn, also supported the additional work required to instruct employees with disabilities in these protective measures."It was important to us that jobs for people with disabilities are maintained. In the meantime, both facilities have been able to reopen," said Akalin.

Ralf Ramacher, managing director of Haus Müllestumpe, reports that during lockdown, the employees, including the eight with disabilities, had to be furloughed.

As soon as it was possible, the restaurant with beer garden and the hotel were gradually reopened and the disabled employees were also gradually brought back to work. And all this "in compliance with the respective safety regulations, which have also become a matter of course for them," emphasises Ramacher. However, the day-to-day business only covers a small part of the required turnover. Besides the small hotel business, banquets and conferences provide the main income. "Due to the Corona regulations, these sources dried up several months ago," says Ramacher.

However, the first "steps over the mountain" will soon be taken with bookings for a wedding and a milestone birthday party. "We have also been given the energy to find our way out of the crisis thanks to the uncomplicated and quick Corona support from Aktion Mensch", says Ramacher gratefully. The company is "cautiously optimistic about the future" and assumes that it has a realistic chance of surviving the Corona crisis.

Meanwhile, Lisa Bachmann from the office of ‘Bonn-Rhein-Sieg-fairbindet’ reports on the temporary closure of the second inclusion business supported by Aktion Mensch, the Godesburger restaurant. She said it had been a great challenge, especially for the seven disabled employees: daily routine and social contact were sorely missed, and they felt unsure and fearful.

"It was a long and hard time," confirms restaurant manager Bruno Straub. The inclusion company, which is still in the process of being set up, had to cope with a six-figure drop in turnover. "The Corona pandemic hit us hard, and we are very grateful for the valuable support from Aktion Mensch", says Wolfgang Pütz, Managing Director of Godesburger. “Like all companies, we naturally hope that the pandemic will not further restrict operations. We have already been able to welcome many of our regular guests back again", he says.

(Original text: Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu)

Cultural initiative to enhance Bad Godesberg

BAD GODESBERG. A new initiative called “Bad Godesberger Kultur & Stadt Scene” (Bad Godesberg Culture & City Scene) wants to inspire local people to help enhance the cultural richness of the town. Members Angela Biller and Dorle Miela-Edel believe that culture does not only belong to theatres, galleries and concert halls but is also found on the streets as part of the cityscape.

Their aim is to inspire as many local people as possible to come up with their own ideas for beautifying the town. Existing cultural institutions are also be promoted, networked and brought together – for example the idea of organising a Beethoven Gala at the Kinopolis would be a possible cross-over project. The initiative has its own blog which is used to focus on Bad Godesberg as a cultural location and to promote new talents, professionals or people interested in culture.

"Bad Godesberg is a beautiful city, but some things can be improved using your own initiative," says Biller. This is the motivation of the ten founding members of the group, along with the supporting members and the board of trustees. The first project has already been implemented: The digital exhibition "Metropolis" started on 1st August and can be seen until 15th September. "Four female artists have made their pictures available to us," says Biller. The works by Carola Samaca, Jutta Roth, Hetty Liebelt and Sybille Oelerse were taken to secret locations where they have been photographed in a different environment and a different context.

A short interview series has also been published on the initiative's website, introducing local residents in whose lives art plays a role - whether professionally or as a hobby, as a layman or an expert. The first interviewee is painter Enis Kurtulus. Anyone who knows someone in Bad Godesberg who has a special talent or is involved in art can contact the initiative, says Biller.

One thing is important to the initiative: it wants to encourage inspiration, not copy other ideas. "In Bad Godesberg there are a lot of committed people, associations and initiatives with whom we do not want to compete", Biller emphasises. On the contrary: "We have seen in the past how much commitment can be activated. We want to bring it together."

More information (in German) can be found at:

(Original text: Ayla Jacob)

(Translations: Caroline Kusch)

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