The sleepy old-worldy ambiance of the half-timbered houses in Frankfurt’s Alt-Sachsenhausen district turns in the darkness of night into a blinking, noisy line of bars, snack bars and discos. Anyone stumbling across the cobblestones late at night in the narrow and twisting alleys will probably not guess that a small but beautifully designed bar lurks in one of the small buildings there.
Interior architecture studio Aberja has certainly set a new tone with the "Bonechina" Bar for the Lindenberg Group in the midst of Frankfurt’s party mile: Diagonally across the way from the Libertine Lindenberg Hotel, which opened last year, you can enjoy a living room atmosphere sitting on Mid-Century-style Walter Knoll chairs. Nipping at a drink from the fine collection of cocktails – and if needed you can get your own tonic water from the large ceramic Origami elephant that lords over the middle of the room.
The walls are covered in diamond-shaped blue/anthracite colored tiles that reflect the light from the small spotlights in the ceiling. They were made specially by Kaufmann Keramik and are intended to reference the pattern on the typical Frankfurt cider glasses, so architect Robin Heather at Aberja. Logically, they were named “Frankfurt Tiles”. They boast angled, symmetrical and asymmetrical surfaces and as a wall covering are meant to bring to mind an elephant’s hide. And with so many tiles involved, a fitting name was needed, and hardly surprisingly the choice fell on "Bone China".
Symmetry and contrasts are the key elements underlying the bar’s interior: Warm pearwood is used throughout, even for the floor boards. And contrasts with the matted brass for the chair legs and fittings. Aberja spared no expense to ensure the latter shimmer like brass: The chrome plating was arduously peeled off the thermostats. And the Frankfurt diamond pops up everywhere: From the niches in the walls that host the decorations to the tiles and even through to the acoustic panels in the ceiling: diamonds everywhere.
The Bonechina concept is a bar that can host at most 20 guests at once, who automatically mingle, can enjoy sprucing up their drinks with a little assistance – for example using aromatized ice cubes. But only during the week. Because bar manager Sven Riebel really has no interest in the customary clientele that flocks down the alleys at the weekend. Rather he hopes to have selected regulars who love the intimate atmosphere of the place instead of going for binge drinking. Should you wish to visit the ceramic elephant at the weekend after all, you can, by renting the entire Bonechina Bar. But best to leave your real live elephant at home, as a sign on the door declares "No elephants allowed". On account of the china tiles of course.
Frankfurt am Main
Tuesday till Thursday, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.