My friends, who are arriving from Chicago later this week, told me I need to know where to go in Munich. In other words, where can they drink and get their groove on. So last Saturday night, when our newfound friends from Canada and Chicago, who we met in Mykonos, who live in Munich (are you following along?) were entertaining their friend from Los Angeles, I hopped on the party bus to experience everything (well, almost everything) Munich has to offer. And surprisingly, it wasn’t half bad.
Not the company of course. As we discussed at dinner, I’m ecstatic that I dragged Chris to the beach in Mykonos that Sunday afternoon. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have had the chance to meet Greg and Mark (then again, since my voice carries, they may have heard my big mouth elsewhere).
The evening started at Nero’s Pizza and Lounge. I was a bit concerned about the smoke prior to going. With “lounge” in the establishment’s name, I pictured it to be a dark, smoke filled den. Mark mentioned they had a non-smoking section, but he said it became clouded over quickly. And because I didn’t want to pull my “this is too smoky so I'm going to leave but you stay and have a good time” card, I just prayed for the best.
Maybe it helped we had reservations at 8 p.m. because it wasn’t half bad. Greg, Mark, two of their friends from Munich Mischa and Wenzel (those German names are tricky) and Erik from Los Angeles were alone at a “picnic style” table for 10 most of the evening. The restaurant’s two-floor design plan also helped to alleviate smoke for those sitting downstairs. It is, however, unfortunate for those dining in the “non-smoking” section upstairs and to the right. You may not be sitting next to someone blowing it in your face, but you’re the recipient of second hand smoke from at least 60 patrons downstairs.
The food at Nero’s was a bit indistinguishable – I can’t really recall if it was good or bad. And my Cosmo tasted more like cherry syrup than a drink that would do Ms. Bradshaw proud. But the six of us enjoyed each other’s company and the fruits of our discussion including the need to buy lederhosen, Erik’s hopeful return next Sunday for the Big Gay Day at Oktoberfest, the demise of smoking in Munich, dirty knees, cutlery and proper ways to stir your cocktail.
Bau was next on our stop through Gay Munich. The leather bar wasn’t busy (as nobody expected it to be around 9:30), but we made the best of it while some drank beer and others (like myself) consumed apple and vodka (the up-and-coming drink in Paris last year but considered trashy by some in Munich). With Thunderpuss from 2003 pumping in the background, I toured both levels of the establishment so I could fully assess if it was a place to return once the gang arrives from Chicago. Because there was something oddly entertaining about the décor and overall ambience, it makes the list. Next stop: Selig.
I was warned I’d be able to cut the smoke with a knife (like the one I used to stir my cocktail at Nero’s). So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled. But once we arrived, it wasn’t half bad. Selig is considered by most to be the hot spot in town (which explained it’s “filled to the rim” crowd)). I’m not quite sure what the owners were thinking when they designed the lounge and café as the flow is atrocious, but none-the-less it appears that this slight misstep becomes secondary to the crowd and drink selection. After scoring a table in the back, we sat entertaining ourselves for another few hours – making new friends along the way (who eventually were more difficult dismiss then bring aboard). And once midnight rolled around, N.Y. Club became our final destination to dance the night away.
I spotted N.Y. Club on the net a few weeks back as I was gathering notes on the gay nightlife in Munich. From their gallery, it didn’t look half bad. It wasn’t huge, but it also wasn’t the wine cellars with blinking lights I sometimes find elsewhere in Europe. Once we arrived, I quickly got my bearings by wandering through the first room’s bar area and adjoining room’s dance floor. Again, my reaction to those around me was, “This isn’t half bad!” The music varied and was current, the crowd slowly built to a strong capacity and they offered promotional free energy drinks with vodka. But it wasn’t until Mark, Erik and I wandered back into the darkroom that my night’s favorite moment occurred.
I’ve never set foot inside a darkroom. Queer as Folk
is my only reference point for such gay standards (and I know better than to believe anything that show represented). So when the three of us turned the corner into the two opposing dark hallways, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would there be black lights slightly illuminating indescribable activities?
After taking five to six steps into complete darkness, what we discovered was a wall. No door. No lights. Just a wall. We turned around and headed down the other hallway. After passing two gentlemen standing by the entryway, what we uncovered was another wall. No door. No lights. Just a wall. “This is their darkroom?” I said. “Where was the heat I expected?” Not that I wanted to participate, but remember, this was a fact-finding mission for those visiting at the end of the month. So though the club exceeded my expectations for clubbing in Munich, anything beyond the lit corridors is uneventful.
So now, with my first gay night out in Munich behind me, I can give a full report to those back home. Let them ask me “where to go?” in Munich. With confidence I can reply Nero’s for pizza served with a side of gay, Bau for whiffs of leather, Selig’s for bustling but backwards flow and N.Y. Club for titillating tunes on the dancefloor only - all of which are surprisingly not half bad.