The bright neon signs on the Reeperbahn have made your eyes tired, your legs hurt from running the gauntlet through the bustle of party tourists and bouncers, you want nothing more than a normal beer and normal conversation after running from hotspot to hotspot. Salvation is close, but slightly hidden in an unnoticed street parallel with the Reeperbahn, in the magnetic field of Spielbudenplatz and Davidwache: the Kogge.
The Kogge is actually a hotel, but without a concierge and uniformed staff with practiced service smiles. “Rock ‘n’ Roll hotel” they call themselves. From 30 euros, you can stay overnight in “Honecker’s Gentleman’s Room”; if you require a double, it’ll cost you 50 euros and you might end up in the “Tikki Room” or in the “Punk Royale”.
You have to know to get your key from the bar: because there are no indications that the Kogge could be anything other than a pub.
In fact, it is the blueprint of pubs: your eyes glimpse into a pleasant darkness, there is cheap bottled beer, you may – no, you must – smoke anywhere, and you can play table football without inserting a coin. The music – electric guitar mostly, sometimes Ska, the Kogge has a left-leaning tradition, after all – is loud enough to take centre stage, but you can still have conversations about life, the universe and the rest.
And you can have deep conversations here: no-one here has to go home or retire to “Honecker’s Gentleman’s Room”. You can drink until the wee hours of the morning, until 4 am on weekdays, until 6 am on the weekend. And when the mood demands, you can even stay longer. No, there’s no rush or pressure. When you finally end up at Kogge, you don’t have to go anywhere else.