Enjoying the evening hours outside is one of the little joys of spring and summer. There are so many restaurants and bars in Maxvorstadt that local politicians, despite their understanding for the stricken industry, are warning that the district is in danger of becoming “a single outdoor bar”.
In terms of gastronomy, there is actually a lot on offer in Maxvorstadt: the district administration department (KVR) currently counts 643 establishments. And 548 outdoor areas. There should be more: in March alone, the Maxvorstadt District Committee (BA) received 63 applications for outdoor areas. BA boss Svenja Jarchow-Pongratz (Greens) has the feeling that there are “streets that turn into a single outdoor bar”. In fact, the requested places are concentrated on Amalienstrasse, Schellingstrasse and Türkenstrasse.
It can also be read that many restaurateurs want to set up tables and chairs in parking bays again. The so-called sidewalk cafés were intended as a temporary solution during the pandemic summers: This made it possible to serve a larger number of people despite the distance rules. The offer was accepted by many: in 2021, 515 gardens and around 5,300 spaces were created in Munich. Around 4,000 more were added because, for example, the sidewalk in front of the economy could now be used beyond the house boundary. About 22 percent of the “total existing areas” in Maxvorstadt were created by the changed guidelines, i.e. the regulatory authority. City-wide, “the quality of life has increased thanks to more opportunities to stay in the open air”. That is why the city council decided in May to maintain the regulations from April to October, regardless of Corona.
The first thing people save on is travel, clothes, dining out
Sitting in the newly developed rooms is not just good. They are still important for the existence of the companies. “We restaurateurs bled dry,” says Richard Weiss, for the Greens in the BA and also operator of the “Café am Josephsplatz”. Because of the financial hardship caused by the pandemic, he even has to cancel part of his pension. And even now, in times of rapidly rising inflation, the innkeeper states: “It’s getting harder.” The first things people save on now are travel, clothing and dining out. In his opinion, the restaurant industry is sliding into the next crisis. He can therefore only partially understand the concern that the Maxvorstadt could become a party mile with more outdoor areas.
It was only in the summer that it was noisy all night long in Maxvorstadt. The police confirm that it is “clearly identifiable” that the “traffic” of the neighborhood has increased. As a result, you “had more to do” – in other words, there were more cases. There have just been crowds of people on Amalienstrasse, Türkenstrasse, Schellingstrasse and Ludwigstrasse, at Geschwister-Schollplatz and Odeonsplatz and at the Pinakotheken. This was mainly public space, which – like elsewhere – attracted people because there were no alternatives due to the Corona measures.
In the gastro lockdown and at the time of the early curfew, the action shifted to the street
Restaurants and bars are likely to have been less of a driver for these parties. This also results in the information provided by the district administration department. According to the press office, there was an increase in noise complaints both during the gastro lockdown and when shops were supposed to close at 10 p.m. “At this point, the events on the street shifted,” said a spokesman. Because the Schanigarten season is just beginning, it is too early to say how the complaints situation will develop “without any distortions caused by the pandemic”.
It’s not just the night’s sleep that worries local politicians. Sonja Hergarten (SPD) pointed out that with the expansion of outdoor areas, public space would become smaller. As a result, it becomes more difficult to stay outside “without the need to consume”. She sees this as a problem for young people in particular. Despite concerns, the BA members emphasized in a cross-party letter that they understood that operators “wanted to compensate for lost measures” with the help of the sidewalk cafés. You can also see that the places are well received.
the district committee approved 52 of the 63 areas applied for. Because basically everyone agrees: “It’s part of a lively district.” Nevertheless: The “sheer quantity” exceeds “an acceptable level”. The committee is therefore in favor of an assessment by October. So you could – “if necessary” – adjust the guidelines. For example, it is conceivable to some extent to increase the fees. Not everyone votes for the statement: Richard Weiss considers the vote to be “fatal”: “My wish is a supportive sign for the gastro, instead of new little sticks that you have to jump over.”