Restaurateur trio Oskar Melzer, James Ardinast and David Ardinast (behind Stanley Diamond and Maxie Eisen in Frankfurt) have just opened their latest venture, this time in Berlin. Like its predecessors, Louis Pretty takes its name from a historic mobster, but the atmosphere and food are anything but shady. It’s perhaps the most elegant deli we’ve ever set our eyes on: burnt orange walls and pink upholstered seating made with Kvadrat fabric juxtapose the light blue tabletops that resemble the glittering surface of a swimming pool. David Hockney’s 1967 piece “A Bigger Splash” was an inspiration for the interior colors, as was the painting’s backdrop: Palm Springs Modernism. Seemingly as a tribute to the choice pastrami sammies, matzah ball soup, pickled gherkins and other Jewish-American favorites, the only piece of “art” that’s hung is a framed, autographed Seinfeld cast photo.
“Since I tasted pastrami for the first time as a teenage boy at a Bar Mitzvah in the US, I knew I needed this food in my life,” Melzer tells CH. “A logical—you may call it egotistical—consequence was to bring pastrami to Germany.” (Thus, his previous New York-style artisanal deli, Mogg + Melzer, was born; though he and Paul Mogg have now gone their separate ways and it’s now simply called Mogg). He continues, “Also, I think it’s important to develop a new interpretation of Jewish deli cuisine in Germany. That’s what we’re doing with Maxie Eisen in Frankfurt and now Louis Pretty in Berlin.”
“For us, the whole package—including the interior design, materials, food concept, staff and even the music in the deli—has to be well-rounded and must represent our idea of a contemporary deli,” he says. “Each of our locations has its own character, depending on the overall concept and of course on the city, district and street where it is located. We think it’s building a great contrast to the Ritterstrasse area, a quite unremarkable, but old school and charming street in Kreuzberg.”
The newly opened Louis Pretty is located at Ritterstrasse 2, Berlin. Check their Facebook page for hours and (note: not kosher) menu.
Images by Steve Herud courtesy of Louis Pretty