Aren’t you a pretty guy for a barfly? This is one question that Fabian Buhtz, bar manager of the bar Loft14 at Vienna House Andel’s Berlin, surely doesn’t ask himself anymore. He is definitely a “pretty guy” and thanks to his past work at the Waldorf Astoria Berlin, at the Hotel Intercontinental Düsseldorf and on the cruise ship Columbus 2, he is certainly an experienced “barfly” ;-).Today, and that for the past two years already, the talented mixologist is busy inspiring none other than the Berlin bar scene as well as hotel guests from all over the world at Loft14.
It’s eleven o’clock in the morning – what seems like the middle of the night for Fabian. Nevertheless, he has gladly agreed to tell us more about what makes his job so special:
Was there that “one” moment for you in which you decided you wanted a future in the bar scene?
Let’s put it this way: I realised very early on that I am a service-oriented person and that I love working with people. The “night society” has always seemed much more relaxed and open to me, and it still is that way. On top of that, I’m a curious person who immediately lets himself be mesmerised by the different essences, products and flavours and all their secrets big and small. This tinkering and experimentation can actually only be done at the bar.
What is your personal wow-moment at work?
I usually start my day around 3 p.m. and begin the evening preparations with my team. I am overwhelmed by my own workplace every time. There’s this quiet gong of the elevator, the doors open and you can see this incredibly unobstructed view of the whole of Berlin. To the one side the TV tower, to the other side the sparkling lights of the Berlin high-rises, a.k.a. “Little Manhattan”. What more do you want?
Where is the fun factor for patrons of Loft14?
Personally, I think it’s the combination of height, panoramic views, cocktails and character. Loft14 is 60 % hotel bar, many of the guests are businesspeople who “flee” after the conference in the hotel and just switch off. Then there’s the granny from Lichtenberg, a hipster – just real Berlin originals. They all revel in dreams and fly free and in their thoughts with their view over Berlin. No one is alone, they all appreciate the high quality of the cocktails and yet everyone is buzzing in their armchairs in the Berlin universe. Almost like in a planetarium, only with good drinks and a look from the top down.
Why is the bar called Loft14 and not Bar14?
Clear and simple answer: The bar is the largest and tallest room at Vienna House Andel’s Berlin and has, as befits a loft, floor-to-ceiling windows and a spectacular view over the whole city. No street bustle, no wobbly wooden barstools – this isn’t just any old bar. Instead, a 14-metre-long bar made of dark oak and marble with barstools in cheeky flamingo pink, generous armchairs and velvet sofas. Noble but down to earth. Let’s call it sixties deluxe.
The most popular cocktails?
To date, the “Sex on the Landsberger”. Yes, you heard right. [Fabian smiles] It is served in a neon orange skull glass and people order it not for its ingredients, but simply because it is so fancy visually.
How did you come up with the name and this extraordinary cocktail presentation?
The cocktail is based on vodka and has its mentor in the well-known Sex on the Beach. Here at Landsberger Allee^, you also have a beach in the broadest sense, just that his one is made of asphalt and concrete. Spectacular, sexy. Sure, and a dash of provocation and Berlin bluntness has always belonged in the name of the drinks.
Something very different: Do you or your guests miss having a terrace? And if not, why not?
Loft14 is an authentic indoor bar, with no outdoor section or terrace. The guests who come to us don’t need a terrace. There are enough of those in Berlin. But where else can you enjoy such a relaxed view in 64 metres height protected from the rain, wind, weather, snow, but also at over 40 degrees Celsius or on New Year’s Eve? That’s right: nowhere. This is unique, it’s an experience and as simple as it is straightforward.
And last but not least. What does the future hold in store?
A lot. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s standing still. Especially important to me is to work with my team and offer everyone a creative playground. My goal is to constantly improve the products, to offer the guests a really great service and to surprise them again and again with new creations. We will do this in the very near future. Then maybe we won’t have the funny cocktail names anymore, but in their place a good portion more flavour. But what am I telling you about it here? Just come to Berlin from June onwards for the “qualifying” of a new Loft14 Special Drink Edition and taste for yourself.
STAY | Vienna House Andel’s Berlin