Bonn · Many new restaurants have opened recently in Bonn city center, offering tasty dishes from different parts of the world. On the fashion scene, two internationally known stores will be opening in Bonn.
"Jhinga Pakora" and "Aloo Parantha"? Or would you prefer a bowl of "Schrebergarten" with cauliflower, carrots and pickled radishes instead of deep-fried shrimp in chickpea flour and stuffed Indian bread? If you're more in the mood for a crispy pizza, you'll get your money's worth just a few steps away: several new restaurants have opened in recent weeks between Friedrichstrasse and Oxfordstrasse, inviting visitors on a culinary journey around the world. For example, Royal India is new on Kesselgasse, the delivery service "Make" has set up shop just across the street, and the tempting aroma of crispy stone-baked pizzas in "Datchie" on Friedrichstrasse is sure to whet your appetite.
Although the months-long Coronavirus lockdown posed major challenges especially for restaurant owners, some are looking ahead with optimism and have opened new eating establishments in the city center. Mallorca on Münsterplatz, Caribbean delights at "Coco Mango" in the Altstadt, bubble tea with brightly colored toppings at the new "An's Tea House" at the Dreieck: Bonn's gastro scene is as diverse as the people who live here.
New openings are not only restaurants
But the new offerings in the city center aren’t only about food. In the next few weeks, more new stores will be opening in the city center. "We are always happy to welcome new businesses," says Karina Kröber from the Bonn City association. “Change through trade. And every new establishment attracts customers.”
One of these new retail chains is "Mister Spex," which is moving into the former Orsay boutique on Sternstrasse. Currently, the interior is still being renovated. If everything goes according to plan, the doors will open in mid-July. Why is the largest online optician in Europe drawn to Bonn of all places? "We decide strategically and in a data-driven manner where it makes sense to open a new location. In doing so, we are guided by demand and deliberately focus on highly frequented locations, such as in Bonn on Sternstrasse," says Thalissa-Jennifer Klaps, speaking for the company.
Designer fashion store to open
The renovation work at Remigiusplatz is in full swing right now. Tommy Hilfiger will move into the space at the corner of Remigiusstrasse and Acherstrasse. But it isn’t yet clear when the Hilfiger store will open. At the moment there is "no information about the new store in Bonn," Michaela Gümbel says on behalf of the company. Meanwhile, an empty space at Sterntor is being renovated, and there is apparently interest in the former English Shop. More details are not yet available.
Even though two internationally known companies, Mister Spex and Hilfiger, are moving to Bonn, many vacancies are noticeable when strolling through the city center: At the Dreieck, on Acherstrasse, Remigiusstrasse or Poststrasse as well as on Rathausgasse - there are covered shop windows and mail that has apparently been pushed under the front door for weeks and not collected. One can see there are empty retail spaces for new tenants in many corners of the pedestrian zone. One example is on Sternstrasse. "It's not easy to find tenants for the retail spaces there," Kröber observes. For one thing, the sales areas are often very small, and for another, the rents are very high. According to the current listing, a local broker is offering a 104-square-meter store in a "prime location on Sternstrasse" for more than 8,000 euros a month.
Two of the commercial spaces which are not occupied right now are being marketed by the Cologne-based company "Colliers". "Bonn's real estate market is attractive and will become more and more in line with Germany's top 7 cities. In particular, long-term public sector tenants are steady purchasers of the open spaces and ensure a consistently high demand for the location," says Herwig Lieb, Regional Manager NRW at Colliers, assessing the current supply.
New tenants should complement what is already there
In order for Bonn to remain the first choice as a city where people like to shop, Karina Kröber would like to see more owner-operated stores in the city center. “Not retail chains that give every city the same look," she says. She is apparently not alone with this thought. "I know that some landlords don't accept every prospective tenant either and try to find tenants who fit in well with the city and what's already on offer," Kröber says.
She believes, however, that there is still potential to make Bonn more attractive to customers. "In terms of cleanliness, there is still work to be done," she explains. But Bonn Orange is not the only one responsible for this, she adds. "Every business owner can contribute to making the city center look attractive," she adds. For example, she expressed irritation that some businesses had already put out their garbage cans on the Wednesday before Corpus Christi (Thursday) when collection was not until Friday. “For anyone who walked through the city center on the holiday or went to the procession, the garbage cans immediately caught their eye. Not a pretty sight on a public holiday," she says.
Orig. text: Gabriele Immenkeppel