Shows at the Comedy Café Berlin (CCB) will be on a minimum 2 week hiatus as of May 19 after the Berlin ‘Ordnungsamt’ expressed its deep concern for the safety of some stuff stored in the CCB basement. The agency, which enforces rules and regulations for businesses throughout Germany, has told the owners to install an emergency exit in the cellar, for what they can only assume is the safe evacuation of beer kegs and old signs, since the area is off limits to the public and used solely for storage.
“We’re taking this very, very seriously,” said Noah Telson, co-owner of CCB, “we do not wish to be fined or even worse shut down.” Telson, who struck an oddly positive tone about the recent developments, says he likes to spend extended periods of time in the basement lying amongst the kegs of Vagabund Brauerei beer, and realizes that the Ordnungsamt “has a good point and we should definitely spend exorbitant amounts of money on this door. I’d hate to think what would happen to all this stuff.” Indeed, the Ordnungsamt has threatened CCB with fines of “up to 4 digits” and possible permanent closure if shows continue while regulations aren’t met.
When asked about the countless bars in the neighborhood that most certainly do not have emergency exits in their cellars, Telson said CCB deserves to be treated differently, “I mean, we’re not just a bar, we’re an independent alternative theater space that sells only the finest quality beer and wine. And we’re really thankful that someone is actually thinking about the drinks down there. Not to mention, we attract the kind of people that would definitely lift a 20kg trap door and sequester themselves downwards into a cellar in a mad panic. It just makes sense.”
The Comedy Café Berlin, which opened its doors in Neukölln in October 2015 and boasts itself as the city’s first international alternative comedy stage, bar and café, was also told by the agency that they will need to re-test their soundproofing because, “why not?” While their biggest draw are the comedy shows, owners Noah Telson, Nina Spiri, and Dino Spiri are confident that business won’t be affected too much by this unexpected hiatus, particularly at this most important moment in the growth of their business. “We’ll have drink specials and some non-event events just to make sure we’re attracting people to come out.”
If anyone has any leads on cheap emergency doors and/or knows someone who can do the work please contact the owners at [email protected].
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