Wednesday, October 28

Guests are drawn further outside

  • fromClemens Dörrenberg

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Bars arm themselves with blankets, umbrellas and patio heaters for the cold season. Many visitors do not have to worry about sitting in the guest room.

Whether on Kaiserstraße in the Bahnhofsviertel, in Weissadlergasse or on Fressgass: Despite the cloudy weather and cool temperatures on Saturday, café and restaurant owners have covered outside for their guests. They made their outdoor areas winter-proof, partly with patio heaters and plastic sheeting. On some chairs there are several blankets.

Cemile Bayram is sitting with her husband Rahman in front of the “Fiesta” tapas bar on the corner of Kaiserstrasse and Elbestrasse. Glasses with fresh mint and ginger tea are on the table in front of them. A flame from the gas heater behind glass blazes next to the 31-year-old, who has sat down very close. “It attracted us in the cold,” says Bayram. “Because I’m always cold,” she adds. The Schifferstadt woman has tied a wide scarf over her coat that extends over her legs. The couple from the Palatinate, who booked a weekend in Frankfurt on the occasion of their first wedding anniversary, have fewer concerns about sitting in despite the increased number of corona infections. “I’m a smoker, so we sat out,” says Rahman Bayram.

A few meters further down Kaiserstraße towards the city center, tarpaulins were stretched around the entire terrace area in front of an Indian restaurant. Nobody can be seen there, as in front of most bars on the street at this time. The exception is two men in front of an Italian restaurant eating pizza and salad. As in front of numerous restaurants, the parasols are open there. In the semi-darkness, the men have sat down close to a radiant heater, next to them on the table are pens and notes with their contact details for follow-up. “Out of habit” they would linger outside. “Better and fresher” is the air there, says one of the two. It’s not because of Corona, the other waves it away. They would also go in “at minus temperatures”.

“Everything is better than inside”

The Weißadlergasse is livelier than on Kaiserstrasse. As usual, many people sit along the side street that branches off from the Roßmarkt in front of various restaurants. Striking is a gray tent that restaurateur Thomas Klüber set up in front of his restaurant, the “Walden”. It cost 2000 euros, he reports. “It doesn’t win a beauty award in the favela style,” says Klüber. The 55-year-old added that he did not have all of the side walls installed to allow air to circulate.

Jan Zipfel and Susanne Hoffmann have made themselves comfortable in the back corner of the tent. They sit together with coffee, juices, carrot and mandarin cake. “It’s definitely a better option than sitting completely outside,” says Zipfel, while the radiant heater behind him warms the inside of the tent. The thick down jacket is completely closed, the 44-year-old adds: “Everything is better than inside, I’m super relaxed and I’m afraid to breathe.” His companion also prefers not to sit in closed rooms at the moment. “I’m always outside anyway and always in the heat,” says the 58-year-old, born in North Germany, who walked over from her Sachsenhausen district that day in her light jacket. The duo takes a critical view of the radiant heater for environmental reasons. Nada Antamni, Walden’s service manager, says: “We were also against it the whole time.” Now there is no other way to heat the outside area. The two guests were less afraid for their health, but did not want to catch the virus in order to not infect anyone, say Zipfel and Hoffmann. You have already filled in the slip with your contact details. Gastronomer Klüber says: “If it says Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, we let the note go back inconspicuously.” However, this has not yet happened to his guests.

The Café Ypsilon on Berger Straße relies on tents with patio heaters.

© Renate Hoyer

In addition to the open umbrellas, the awnings on the facade were also rolled out on Saturday in front of the forest. “I also ordered a vestibule, 1.75 meters high, so that the entrance area can be boxed in a bit,” says Klüber. He had “virus killer” and “air washer” installed inside the existing ventilation system. For him it is currently only important to “somehow get over the winter and make it with the entire team by spring”.

He recommends winter clothing for guests who want to sit outside. A couple on Fressgass has already taken this to heart. With hats and thick jackets they sit at a small table in front of the “Foccaceria”. The couple ignored free tables in the bistro, which are covered by plastic sheeting and equipped with patio heaters. However, they do not want to comment on their choice of table or the current situation.

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