Perle Bar – meticulous mixology in Berlin

Along a quiet, tree-lined street in Prenzlauer Berg lies Perle Bar — quite possibly the only gay bar in Berlin that focuses on crafting high-quality cocktails. Its interior is bright and unpretentious, with notes of light jazz drifting through the air that adds to its relaxed atmosphere. Outside, you’ll find terrace seating that’s perfect for enjoying a drink in the summer sun from their ever-changing menu. Mr Hudson speaks to Holger Glienke, the owner, about his passion for mixology and some of his favourite places.

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Tell us about yourself

My name is Holger Glienke. I studied graphic design at East Berlin’s art college, which originated from the Bauhaus-tradition. Besides my job as a designer, I opened my first restaurant in the 1990s. In addition to well-crafted drinks, I love good food, travelling, fine arts and my husband Joe.

What made you open Perle Bar?

When I opened Perle Bar in 2007, I intended to create a more elegant place for a mixed straight and gay crowd with a clear focus on high-quality cocktails.

Perle Bar

Photo: James Facourt

“The drinks are served in vintage-style glasses, all paying homage to the days when these cocktails were first created”

What makes Perle Bar special?

Perle is a small bar with an intimate atmosphere, straight-lined interior and cosy illumination. The kind of drinks we serve is straight-lined as well. For example, we adapt conventional cocktails by using home-made syrups and spirit infusions. The drinks are served in vintage-style glasses, all paying homage to the days when these cocktails were first created.

Photo: Holger Glienke

Berlin | Photo: Polaroidville

“With me, the owner, and parts of our staff being gay, many of our guests are naturally of the LGBT community”

What makes Perly Bar so popular with the gay community?

Guests appreciate our passion for carefully crafted drinks as well as for having a lovely time in a cosy atmosphere. It’s a place to start an evening, sit on the street or inside. With me, the owner, and parts of our staff being gay, many of our guests are naturally of the LGBT community. They appreciate the relaxed atmosphere where gay and straight people mingle over contemporary cocktails.

How do you keep up with changing customer expectations?

We change the cocktail menu regularly with a focus on seasonal ingredients and mixological trends.

What makes a great bar?

A great bar does not only serve great drinks. It decisively lives on a charismatic bartender and friendly service, suitable music and an appealing vibe.

“Over the past years, a new mixology scene has been established. We see ourselves as part of that movement”

How has going out evolved over the last decade or so?

In famous Prenzlauer Berg, where Perle Bar is located, neighbourhoods have changed a lot. It became a comfortable, snug residential area. While some clubs moved to other parts of town, a new cocktail scene was established. Our bar is filled with a mixture of loyal habitués, international neighbours and tourists.

Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin | Photo: Jonas Denil

Perle Bar-credit-Holger-Glienke-3

Photo: Holger Glienke

What makes Berlin such a great destination?

Berlin is world-famous for its club culture. Over the past years, a new mixology scene has been established. We see ourselves as part of that movement.

What are some of your favourite places in Berlin that people need to know about?

Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg, especially for Street Food Thursday, during the day, and the bars the Coven and Saint Jean in Mitte near Hackescher Markt during the evening.

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