Kein Spätis in München

Munich doesn’t have any Spätis. Well, maybe one, but if anything that solitary beacon of hope just shows how hopeless it is.
I got back to the center after work around 1.30 a.m. with my tongue hanging out for a beer. Bavarian beer is the best in the world, presumably the only reason anyone would consider living in Munich.
There was nothing open on my way to the station, nothing open at either station, and nothing open from the other station. Not even a vending machine anywhere!
I was getting desperate. I stopped a local, asked him where I could find a Späti.
He looked at me like I was demented. In a way I was.
“Späti, Späti!” I repeated.
Eyes grew wider. Maybe he didn’t understand. I changed tack.
“Späti. Spätkauf. Gibt’s kein Spätkauf hier in der Nahe? Irgendwo ein Bier zu kaufen?”
He shook his head, backed away.
“Kein Spätis in München?” I persisted.
He ran away.
Disconsolate, I turned away, headed back toward the hotel.
Just a few doors up from it, I noticed a “New York Bar” with people outside. I’d have tried anything at this stage, so I went in.
I asked your man behind the bar for a Hefeweißen. They had none. Only Pilsener or Guinness. What kind of place was this? A bar in Munich that didn’t even have Helles?
“Go on, gimme a Guinness then,” I said. “They’re pints are they?”
He replied in the affirmative.
I went to sit at a table. He told me not to. It was reserved. At half fucking one in the morning. He pointed me to a shitty little table in the middle of the way. I said damn it, I’ll sit at the bar and wait for me Guinness there.
Well, he plonked it on the bar. A thimble. I looked at him. That isn’t a pint, I told him. A pint is 568ml.
I asked him how much it was. 0.4l he replied. No, how much does it cost? €5.50. Five fucking fifty for two-thirds of a pint!
“Keep it,” I told him, and walked out in disgust.
There weren’t even any vending machines with beer in the hotel (as there were in Köln, for example) so I traipsed back to my room and gave up, defeated. There was a bottle of water. I drank that. Water! Here I was in a city stuffed to the gills with the world’s best beer and here I was drinking water.
I decided I hated Munich and nothing will change my mind.
I saw nothing to change it the next day, despite a most enjoyable lunch with the Honourable Husband. I didn’t want a beer at that stage but I ordered one anyway, still reeling from my experience the night before.
His Honour told me how bourgeois Munich is. Too bourgeois for Spätis, apparently. I got the hell out of the place as quickly as I could.

First thing I did on my return to Berlin was pop into my local Späti for three bottles of Andechs, a Bavarian brew (not from Munich but Andechs, funnily enough), that I currently consider to be the world’s finest.
My heart jumped for joy on hearing the tingle of the bell as I opened the door, I almost cried at the warm welcome I received, and I nearly kissed the floor in gratitude when he handed me back my change. That, dear Münchkins, is a Späti.

Thanks to Harvey Morrell for attempting to assist me in my hour of need. It was he who pointed out that Munich may actually have a Späti after all. Unfortunately, by then it was already too spät. 


  1. Munich doesn't need Späti. By nine o'clock, everyone is at home knitting, or engrossed in a nice Frederick Fortsyth thriller. Perhaps they're extruding a few Spätzle for the morning's Goulasch, as well.

    1. Were they brining the meat for the goulash in Spezi?

  2. Now I know why you don't like the little moon (Moonchen): NO SPAETIS. It had to be something like that. Well, as I said before, the biergartens are the finest on the planet, equipped with giant beers, giant pretzels and giant dudes in bucket pants playing tubas on stage. It's the Disneyland of Kitsch. With beer and food. The price for a litre of Muenchener Heaven (or Hell, whichever you prefer) is about the same as what you would pay for the equivalent in Berlin. Only Münchkins make 5x what Berliners make. So they don't need to hang around Spaetis with socksfull of loose change getting buzzed on a sidewalk for fun. So I recommend that we meet outside the nearest Berliner spaeti, have some Andechser bier (the monastery is located not far from Muenchen, next time make a pilgrimage, pilgrim) and discuss the whole disparity of the two most famous German cities.



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