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Schumann's American Bar - Munich

Schumann's American Bar - Odeonsplatz 6, 80539 Munich, Germany

This bar is an icon in Munich and it's frequented by all the rich and famous as well as the likes of you and me. It's been popular for more than 20 years and a selection of models, tennis and football players can be found loitering in the shadows here.

charlie-schumann.jpg
Charles Schumann

I've bumped into Boris Becker here a few times, once in the men’s toilet, which was interesting. Pretty expensive place, pretty small and it can be as boring as hell unless you like watching Munich’s social elite mixing - which we do. Schumann’s has great service, and it is the standard to which all other bars are compared. The waiters are institutions in their own right and include Charlie Schumann himself - he's the one with the long greyish slicked-back hair constantly grinning (at how much money he is making I shouldn't wonder). Schumann is famous the world over for his cocktail mixing. You can buy his book in any bookstore with a drinks section and he once told me there is no such thing as a Vodka Martini, which will piss James Bond off no end.

Usually packed; don't even think about sitting at a free table, as they are all reserved for regular clients. You'll be moved on pretty sharply. It’s an older crowd, often opera or theatre goers, and it can be hard to meet people unless you are loaded or famous, in which case you probably don't need to meet any more people, right? Right. You just come out to see and be seen in Schumann's. No one knows why it is so popular and crowded, it's really not that special inside or out. Whenever anyone asks why it has such a brilliant reputation, the answer is always the same - “Because it's Schumann's, you moron”. It’s closed on Saturday nights, presumably to keep the out-of-town riff-raff from spoiling the ambience. You have to go here, and you will have fun on a good night, but after you’ve been you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.

Review © 2001 Christopher Larmour & Damien Fournier, Groovy Munich

Change of location!
Note that in the Autumn of 2003 Schumann's Bar changed location. It is no longer to be found at Maximilianstrasse 36 but at the address below:

Schumann's Bar am Hofgarten
Odeonsplatz 6-7
U3/6 to Odeonsplatz
Official website: Schumann's

The previous Maximilianstrasse address is now home to Bar Muenchen

Review by: "Anonymous" on 1.Nov.2003   (edit this review)

Comments

Gitta Saxx is quoted in the paper today as saying she loves Schumann's bar and goes there "super often" because it's just so "lässig". Ahem, lässig??? Last time I checked my dictionary "lässig" means "casual". And if there is one thing that Schumann's bar is NOT, it's casual. Saxx goes on to say, "it's like my second living room there. No one is bothered if I turn up wearing trainers and without make-up". Now listen here, you are GITA SAXX! You could turn up wearing a greasy boiler suit and you'd still be treated like royality. That's because you're PlayBoy Germany's PlayMate of the century! Not because Schumann's is "lässig". Us ordinary "normal" people are ignored by the staff. Lässig it is not.

Posted by: "Jack" at 10:02 am on 21.Jan.2004

Hi Jack, "lässig" is a real nice name for saying "feeling homey". I`ve been to Schumann's on my Munich trip and I know what she means! A bar ,where you can just feel good no matter what you wear!

Posted by: "Sam T." at 2:49 pm on 30.Apr.2004

Hi my name is beni and I worked at Schumann`s. Mr. Schumann is not without a reason the best barkeeper all over the wold. He's high professionel but without stress and with much much coolness and styleness. The bar is easy but Mr. Schumann knows how to treat guests and make them feel all over well. Greetings from Germany Beni

Posted by: "beni" at 9:07 pm on 7.Jun.2005

lässig means: easy, casual, cool, relaxed, ... cheers a german

Posted by: "Anonymous" at 8:05 am on 8.Nov.2006

One of the previous reviewers commented that 'ordinary "normal" people are ignored by the staff'. Well, I'm an ordinary normal person not a celebrity, I went to Schumann's American Bar for the first time on Friday evening, and was pleasantly surprised. I'd been to Schumann's Tagesbar, but I was expecting this to be a much more upscale experience. The gentleman I was with commented that waiters will sometimes just simply ignore you altogether, hence silently communicating that you're not wanted. I don't know if the place has lost some of its pretentiousness or if it was the fact that I was in the company of a well-dressed man and two other attractive women, but the server approached us almost immediately for our drink orders. The place was crowded at 8.30, and absolutely jam-packed by 10.30. Although we initially stood, we asked for - and promptly received - a table for four, despite the fact that the place was busy. The waiter was attentive, friendly and polite for the entire evening. I will say that it's definitely a place to see and be seen - I don't think I've ever been checked out or scrutinised as extensively in any bar anywhere in the world. Too bad I was just wearing heels and jeans. But overall, it wasn't nearly as schicki or as pretentious as I'd feared. In fact, the drinks are reasonably priced, it's a nice atmosphere, and I'd happily spend another Friday evening there. So don't let the reputation scare you off - give it a try.

Posted by: "georgiagirl" at 3:44 pm on 23.Jan.2007

I was there in mid-December and found the "older" waiter that served me to be totally unfriendly. When I asked for a dry martini (in German) he said "We don't serve those American drinks here." Very nice. So, what's a girl to do. She orders a gin tonic and make that with Bombay S, please. HIs reply "I wouldn't dream of serving you anything else." Pretenious? Yepper.

Posted by: "qoass" at 7:10 pm on 24.Jan.2007

I think you two ladies perfectly summed up the Schumann´s experience. The first time I was in (the old) Schumann´s I met the owner personally, complimented him on his bar and his world famous cocktail book and found him to be friendly and professional. I have since seen him on several occasions and whether in one of his bars, walking the streets of Munich or (believe it or not) at dinner in Venice, have always found him to act with the same professional courtesy that one would expect from (whether you agree or not) a legendary barkeeper. Now, are most of his staff of the same caliber? Clearly not. Their names are not on the menus and it is not their reputation at stake. Some of the staff are rude and pompous, but hey, which of Munich´s many "institutions" (be they shopping, dining, or drinking) are not guilty of arrogant staff? If you are a tourist without a clue, well, let´s just say that there are places in Munich where you will be made to feel more welcome by the staff; but if you are there when the owner is working, I assure you that he will make you one of the finest `dry martinis´ you are likely to find on the planet - whether you realize it or not...

Posted by: "Ratbert" at 11:21 pm on 24.Jan.2007

I visit every year Schumann's Bar am Hofgarten,and it is a very big pleasure for me to drink something in a romantic area ,it's quiet and you have a feeling like you are far away from noise and daily things ,and especially Mr. Charlie Schumann is a very special person wich is always on the top of the world cultures and his work follows him wherever he goes.This kind of beautiful work should be like a model for the people that loves Gastronomi and the Beauty of Life!!!!

Posted by: "melihate" at 5:08 pm on 27.Mar.2007
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