Thursday, 1 August 2013

A Cat Called Zappa

There's a bar called Zwiebelfisch on Savigniplatz which is a favourite. What makes a bar a favourite is an interesting question, at least to me, and you can come up with some surprising answers. Just looking Zwiebelfisch up on the web brought up one; the enormous size of this bar's tabby cat, 'Zappa', who yesterday (at least) was thankfully still to be found lying in the window on his rug, and who I drew myself without a second thought (above). On Trip Advisor this cat, it's name, it's size, it's endurance, seems to resonate in the minds of travellers desperate to find a bar that is not full wankers, but full of authentic old locals. We too, love that darn cat, as much as we love the old guy owner, as much as we might love (god help us) the layout, the furnishings, beer, food, music that is consistently played and so on. That cat has been lying on that rug snoozing it's way through the day in that window for years, he is a symbol of calm in a world which isn't rushing anywhere in the first place, and he is inconceivably old by my reckoning. Judging by yesterday, he's now somewhat the star and knows it- older Germans were cooing over him and taking photos like he was the prize exhibit.
So what's the lesson here? Old people and young people wanting to be old people still want a place to go. They want the obvious sustinance but if you really want them to come to your bar then make sure it's run by an amiable old guy who plays Robert Johnson (quietly) for background music and that it has a cat. Pub cats are clearly a good idea, especially if they are named after rock legends of their generation who loved the place too. In this case, Zappa is part of the architecture.

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