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Bog roll, beer and bed bottles

By thirsty hack Ignatius Rake
Berlin, Germany

Posted June 23, 2013
beer in bed bottles in berlin's klo
Beer in bed bottles: It may look like wee but it certainly doesn't taste like it. © Ignatius Rake

Berlin is home to some truly fantastic pubs, but none can rival Klo when it comes to toilet humour and practical jokes.

As anyone with a basic smattering of German should know, klo is the technical Teutonic term for the toilet, or chod bin if you prefer.

Thus it should come as no surprise to the intrepid drinker that Klo, on Leibnizstrasse, just off the Kurfürstendamm (or 'Kudamm') in West Berlin, has a bit of a khazi theme going on.

Not only can you sit on genuine fizz pans, the lids of which open up to reveal life-like plastics bum goblins, but your excellent German beer comes served in real hospital bed bottles.

And if you happen to splash your slash as you slurp it down, don't frown because there are plenty of shit tickets to hand courtesy of the numerous bog roll holders screwed to the walls for just such an emergency.

sit on a coffin in Klo
Coffins or khazis? In Klo the choice is yours. © Ignatius Rake

Admittedly, at €7.50 (£6.40) a pop for 4.9% Jever Pilsner, Klo is not cheap by local standards1, but you do get a full 800 ml serving.

Furthermore, if you're a bit of a pube splitter, you can quickly make sure you haven't been undersold by checking the level of your beer against the volume markers conveniently embossed on the side of your bed bottle.

The thing you have to remember in Klo, though, is that you're also paying for ambience.

And what a perfect ambience it is: ideal for both romantic first dates and important business meetings alike.

Especially when the eclectic background music, ranging from German easy listening to roots reggae, is abruptly halted by the tinkle of the klo flushing, at which point a load of papier-mâché turds gracefully descend from the ceiling amid a symphony of swirling, gurgling water sounds.

However, unlike Modern Toilet Restaurant in Taipei, for example, which we reviewed here, Klo's aesthetics are not solely limited to plop and piss.

As well as the various Avrils, you can also choose to sit on one of the two coffins to be found in the bar's back room should the thought of perching your pissed-up posterior on a porcelain pot fail to float your boat (in which case, you're probably in the wrong place, mate).

Moreover, Klo is festooned with animatronic practical jokes, such as the mac-wearing flasher by the front door or the fake cubicle in the gents from which sniggering and whispered insults emanate as you offload your booze.

What's more, if you're lucky, one of the urinals may even congratulate you on having the smallest chopper in the pub before inviting you to have your photo taken with the DJ for posterity.

But that's certainly not all.

Random tables and barstools will suddenly rise up or lower depending on the whim of the very friendly bar staff in their smart 'false arse' T-shirts.

Or perhaps your booth will suddenly shudder and shake, the seat beneath your ring piece rumbling to the tune of a fearsome fart, or furz as the natives call such fragrant anal eruptions.

But watch out because you might get hit on the head by a mallet wielded by a mechanical arm or have a giant spider suddenly zip down onto your bonce from above.

Face it, the place is f--king ace.

Po-faced yuppie bars, please take note.

bric-a-brac galore in Berlin's Klo
Minimalist design: Klo keeps it clean and simple. © Ignatius Rake

As with far too many places across the globe, Klo has sadly not escaped the spread of TVs in pubs.

Fortunately, though, it's not endless footie or crap music vids that will distract your eye.

Instead, the shit pumps in Klo show a looped collection of comical adverts, TV bloopers and interweb 'fails'.

Oh, and some kind of pornographic 'Bugs Bunny' cartoon for good measure.

Yep, Klo, which celebrated its 40th birthday a couple of years ago, is a Berlin institution.

"I last came here in 1989, three months before the Wall came down," Rake & Herald culture editor DJ NRG Raver explains as we await our first round of bed bottles.

"It's a classic."

"It hasn't changed much since then, although when you walked in there used to be these jets of air that would mess up you hair or blow your skirt up if you were wearing one."

"There was also this rat thing that would brush past your feet."

"That seems to have gone now."

Or maybe it's just gotten lost among Klo's wonderfully cluttered décor, which, in addition to many, many other things, includes a severed leg, a German soldier, countless bog brushes, the odd skull/disembodied head and a large garden gnome with his multi-coloured cock out.

Some people think the Germans have no sense of humour.

But then some people haven't been to Klo.

In which case, they're seriously missing out.

Mine's another bed bottle, thanks.

Just mind that mallet, eh?

Klo can be found at 57 Leibnitzstrasse, Berlin; the nearest U-Bahn stations are Kurfürstendamm (U1) and Adenauer Platz (U7) or you can get there from Savignyplatz S-Bahn station (S5, S7 and S75). At time of writing, there were directions leading to Klo on the Kurfürstendamm itself. You can't miss it. It's the one with the bog seat on the door and a sign saying: "No farting aloud". Classic. Berlin rocks!

See also What's cooking in the khazi, ma?, posted 10/3/12.


1) Plenty of places in Berlin sell beer for around €2-€3 a pint or thereabouts if you know where to look and you're OK with punks and hippies.

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