Taberna Flamenca recently opened its doors on Friedensallee Street in Hamburg, Germany. The setting and food were so authentic that people were sure that a Spaniard owned it. “This type of thought was held for only 18 minutes,” said owner Andreas Fritzen, co-owner with Hakan Bakar.
Beginning in July of this year, Bakar completely remodeled his Mediterranean restaurant “La Han,” located in Ottensens, a suburb of Hamburg, Germany, in the Zeise-Hallen (a shopping area). It took around nine weeks to complete the renovations.
The Zeise-Hallen was formerly the shop floor of a factory, where ship propellers were produced. It is protected by a “historical structures” designation, so there are restrictions on the types of changes that can be made to the buildings.
Fritzen and Bakar saw the renovation as a creative process. “I was speechless when my co-owner [Fritzen] wanted to restore a life-size statue of an angel and use it in the Taberna. Where could we find one and how much would it cost?” shared Bakar. They succeeded in finding an angel statue, which now watches over the restaurant.
“Many ideas where thrown around,” said Bakar. The authentic Spanish tiles and the specially commissioned bull fighting picture give the restaurant its Spanish flavor. The tapas, cooked by the Andalusian chef, highlights the Spanish menu.
Not surprisingly, on the opening night the Taverna was filled with locals. They tested the antique chairs and tables, salvaged from a church that was to be torn down, that the co-owners had expertly restored.
What gave us the best feeling was when patrons said, “Far-out!” shared Fritzen. He has renovated 30 other restaurants and helped their success because of his expertise in remodeling and renovating.
“I can’t imagine that anyone can do this [renovating old furniture and buildings] as well as I can. I have to do this myself,” said Fritzen.
During the opening night, with patrons filling every niche and corner, two Flamenco dancers in black dresses danced on a sturdy and massive table. As they stomped their feet and clapped their hands, Fritzen said, “That table was built to withstand earthquakes. I’m rather pleased with it.” He continued, “If I hadn’t done a proper job, I would have to repair it constantly, which is not my cup of tea.”
The Flamenco dancers will be dancing and stomping on the table for three months, which will please the patrons and shake the restaurant until mid-December. When the girls dance, the music is cranked up and even the laid-back Hamburger’s get into the groove by clapping and moving with the music.
“This is absolutely marvelous and so totally different from how I remember it,” said one of the patrons. He continued, “Hamburg needs such warm ambience. Hamburg is such a cool city.”