We told you there’s never a dull moment at Bötzow Brewery in Berlin as its long-awaited revamp gathers pace, but the origin of this lively new venture at the historic property has its roots in a tall tale from the Second World War. Legend has it that a pool in the vast cellar space was used to house two crocodiles from the city zoo. We’re not quite sure if the crocodiles were being kept safe or the rest of the city populace was being kept safe from them, and if the former, quite why they would choose to save crocodiles instead of something a bit more cute and cuddly is a mystery, but even if the story is a crock, it all adds to the colourful atmosphere at Bötzow. It also gave Gregor Scholl the idea for the name of his latest bar – Le Croco Bleu.
The machine room of the brewery is now home to a cocktail bar, although the old equipment remains in situ as part preservation effort, part character feature. A display case full of alcohol memorabilia also recalls the building’s origins, but the menu’s specialities are mixed drinks from Scholl and head barman Michael Hanke rather than the beer of yore. Their boozy creations can be enjoyed among a variety of seating options – we like the padded bar stools if you don’t mind being a bit further from the ground – and the different shades of lighting pick out the old pipe works really well. There’s also a life-size crocodile keeping watch, but if it starts moving, you’ve had too many.