R.I.P. Katerholzig

katerholzig max resdefault

Katerholzig before closing

First there was the Bar 25, it was an internationally recognized techno wonderland on the river Spree, which was opened in 2004 and closed in the year 2010 after a 5 day-long party. Gentrification. Bar 25 itself was a symbol against gentrification (see the image on the bottom), every summer it was closing for a winter break without knowing for sure if it will get reopen next spring.

People who have experienced the Bar 25 say it was the best of the best. “It has changed Berlin’s party landscape, supported and even made the careers of many now famous DJs”. The legend which is now immortalized on film by Britta Mischer and Nana Yuriko.

See the trailer below, and watch the full film HERE.

Not long after the Bar 25 closure, the owners have opened KaterHolzig, a night club with a similar concept in the same area by the river Spree. The yard was also made out of wood with several DIY constructions and little lamps hiding under the stairs. From the outside it looked like a squat, reminding me of KØPI, half-demolished 5 floor building, all in graffiti and posters. On Saturdays they had a market with people selling organic food and self made clothing. This was the only time you could do some snaps of this place, during the night you could have been easily thrown out for just photographing your buddies.

Katerholz just like Barghain and many other clubs in Berlin had a strict and unexplainable face control. “No” meant you are not getting in tonight. People who went to the Bar 25 concluded that KaterHolzig was a hipster version, but I personally don’t like labels. And for someone from Latvia, this was still a pretty damn unique place. Of course, the stories about the famous Bar 25 brought tons of tourists to KaterHolzig, and the atmosphere changed. But it was voted as the 3rd best Berlin nightclub by 10best.com

The rumors about Katerholzig closure were going around for a long time, until December 2013, when it became clear this Silvester will be the last one for this place.

“I stumbled across this place on a Monday evening after I rode my bike past it and heard the thumping beats and faint flashing lights from the street.  I was drawn in and since I had no idea what this place was, it felt like a night out at Burning Man coming across a party.  There were people out front chatting and smoking and the little shack was ensconced in smoke with beat flowing out and the silhouette of people dancing inside. 

I ended up going in and there was a really good vibe.  Turns out most of the people there were dancing still from Sunday night so a bit cracked out of a crowd, but hey that still reminded me of Burning Man.  Anyhow, I met some awesome fun folks and even got added to the guest list for later in the week when I returned.  That’s when I realized that I was only in the “Kiosk” front shack and that there’s a big old club behind it too.”

Gene X, CA.

“This place is crazy, one room is with techno music the other with a theater show and then you find yourself in the middle of a hot jazzy berlin jam session, it’s exciting!”

Contrabass O., AL

What’s next?  There are rumors about Bar 25 reunification. The time will show, yet you and me who have been there, are a part of a history, and this is pretty good feeling.

Edited Jan 9: “They’ve already started to realise a new project on the other side of the river where bar25 used to be. these people don’t give up that easily. good on them.” – Liyona

Edited Jan 10: “Dirty Doering on air last night, one of the main protagonists behind the now closed Katerholzig and the manager of Katermukke. It doesn’t get more Berlin techno. Enjoy! Tracklist & more here: http://bit.ly/DirtyDoering ” Electronic Beats

Kater Holzig. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard

Kater Holzig. All rights reserved by Katja Avant-Hard

Image taken from http://finn-johannsen.de/

Kater Holzig. Image taken from http://www.luciundcoma.de/

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14 comments
  1. ein like für deinen artikel – kein like dafür, dass aus berlin etwas gemacht wird, was eigentlich keiner will… nämlich eine aufgeräumte, geräuschbeschränkte stadt wie jede andere.

  2. DEINBESTERFREUND said:

    rocknroulette… du sagst es! Berlin wird langsam so richtig scheiße!
    Politiker, Stadtverwaltung, Inverstoren, Polizei – rafft ihr das nicht???

    RIP Tacheles, RIP BAR25, RIP C/O Berlin… und die Liste wird immer länger!

    • Didn’t the same thing happen to New York in 90s?
      Nothing is forever.

      I am glad we managed to grasp the special side of Berlin.

  3. kdre said:

    (0s New York? Haha
    Was well before. But each have their time i suppose.

    Well now the annoying and rich tourists that ruined these places, will find new places.
    Was fun in 2004 opening day and many after.
    As all, it goes as far as it can, then changes, losses momentum, gets exploited and dies…
    R.I.P. Berlin.
    Blame Wowereit..

    • From what I read the best NY times were in the 80s, it all changed with economics in the 90s, when they also closed the most interesting and the most important places.

      I think there is no way we can avoid the city change. It’s an organic flow of circumstances.

  4. liyona said:

    sorry, but this article is really badly researched. there’s not just one “owner” behind all these projects. and it was always (ALWAYS!) very clear that kater holzig wouldn’t last more than a few years. their lease was strictly limited to just that. plus, if you’d done your research you’d know that they’ve already started to realise a new project on the other side of the river where bar25 used to be. these people don’t give up that easily. good on them.

  5. Klaus Kenner said:

    ich bin froh dass dieser Müllberg weg ist. bar25 für loser und penner war das

  6. Angela Torres said:

    Had the best time ever…

  7. ZStardust said:

    And you might just want to add to the article that the owners of KaterHolzig infact have got a lot of money out of their business. As well as the Holzmarkt, which is not really a club, it is more than a project done by people with courage and a big heart.

    A good start is to check the investors at the Holzmarkt project, espically the big investors. A pact with the devil

  8. Anarko said:

    aren’t these guys the same assholes now doing a huge development on the other side of the river? Kater was a nice thing to have, I believe Bar25 as well. But please don’t expect a revolution through commercialism.

    If you want something like “the real thing” there are real Squats without a premium gurmeé restaurant and a KaterHolzig branded cigarettes..

    Assholes pretending to be not assholes, still it was something to desire.

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