Bonn The Urban Soul Piazza is showcasing new gastronomy. More and more people from Bonn are discovering that the square is a nice place to go, with good food too.
The Urban Soul Piazza is actually in a very central location. Just a few steps from the main train station, the square between Motel One and the dark grey brick building bearing its name should be pulsating with life. But that is not always the case - at least not yet. For the visitors have to firstly find the square by making a conscious turn into Maximilianstraße and going along where the Bonner Loch used to be, towards the somewhat hidden piazza, which now boasts attractive restaurants in a pleasant setting. It is a step that more and more people are now taking and generally enjoying.
In fact, interest in the culinary offerings at the square is growing day by day. “Once I have won over the guests, they will come back,” emphasises Jelle Greijn, general manager at the restaurant Sander. With 130 seats indoors and around as many outside, the tastefully decorated restaurant is the biggest player on the square. The Sander has been open for a good two and a half months and is now “running really quite well,” Greijn confirms. However, the Dutchman knows that a new restaurant has to prove itself first, especially outside major cities.
“A sister restaurant has now opened in Cologne on the Schildergasse,” says Greijn. “The staff just had to open the door and the place was full. This is more difficult in Bonn, also because many people don't know the square and associate the corner here mainly with the Bonner Loch. Nevertheless, we are seeing increasing sales from week to week. At the same time, we are planning events and campaigns to make more people aware of us.”
Restaurant plans After-Work Party and cooking classes
For example, the first After-Work Party is to take place in September on the first floor of the restaurant, which can otherwise be booked for weddings or receptions. “We also plan to offer cooking courses and the like in future,” Greijn emphasises. “In addition, we will be significantly expanding our menu from September and also extending our opening hours.” Until then, additional large planters on the piazza will create a more chilled out atmosphere.
Rafet Aydogdu, managing director at Kaffeesaurus, is also generally positive. “We had a good start despite Corona, and we have been very warmly received by the people of Bonn,” he says. With sustainable coffee, modern breakfast options and other baked goods, Aydogdu aims to attract students in particular. There is even a small gallery area for this clientele, which will serve as a co-working space. At Friesenplatz in Cologne, a similar concept which was started up in 2018 under the same name has gone down well. “In Bonn, the pretty square is actually an advantage because it's a good place to linger when the weather is nice,” says Aydogdu. “We are also in good contact with the building authorities and the public order office, whereas working with the authorities in Cologne takes an extremely long time.”
Restaurant chain Ma'Loa brings a touch of the exotic
As the third restaurant on the Urban Soul Piazza, a branch of the Hawaiian restaurant chain Ma'Loa wants to bring a touch of the exotic to Bonn. “We are thrilled with the reception we have received so far,” says Bahri Murat Topcuoglu, partner of the franchise company. “The city is currently undergoing a transformation and we get to be a part of it. We deliberately chose this location because the Urban Soul Piazza represents modern and simple architecture. That fits with our concept.”
The Ma'Loa offers so-called Poké Bowls - the national dish of Hawaii - a kind of salad with fish, chicken or tofu, and rice or courgette noodles, as well as other ingredients and sauces, which each customer puts together individually. The Bonn branch wants to provide a more colourful Hawaiian experience as soon as the pandemic permits. “Then we will definitely catch up on our opening ceremony and invite guests to enjoy live Hawaiian music,” says Topcuoglu.
(Original text: Thomas Kölsch, Translation: Caroline Kusch)