Everyone loves a good story, and Le Croco Bleu, one of the best spots in Prenzlauer Berg for an impeccably mixed drink, has a good one behind it. The ritzy cocktail bar takes its name from a popular legend – never confirmed – that at the end of WWII, as the city lay in ruins, two crocodiles from the local zoo were kept alive in a tub in the basement of the Bötzow Brewery, where the bar now makes its home.
From 1864 until that war, the Bötzow family brewed their famed white beer in this sprawling brick complex. Today, the converted facility holds offices, art exhibition spaces, Le Croco Bleu, and neighbor La Soupe Populaire, a restaurant by local culinary superstar Tim Raue that serves upscale German cuisine. The matching of the two is no coincidence: a post-meal nightcap at Le Croco Bleu is the best conclusion to a dinner at La Soupe Populaire.
Housed in the brewery’s former engine room with many of the machines still left intact, Le Croco Bleu strikes a moody and atmospheric impression, dressed up with hip, eclectic décor like turquoise leather upholstery and gleaming chandeliers. The expert bar staff puts great care into each of the elaborate, oftentimes inventive drinks they make, and creative presentation makes the drinking experience even more memorable. The Flaming Bötzow, for example, is a brandy concoction set ablaze before thrilled guests, then served in a bottle wrapped in smoldering paper. Cheers to that!