I have always been a believer that a man should have a local pub/bar/watering hole/shebeen to retreat to, and always found one wherever I have been living during my drinking years. I struggle to find faults with the Cottageviertel apart from one very minor one, although given my initial statement maybe the problem is a major one. Rest assured I have no intention to booze my way through retirement – there is too much of the world to see and not enough time to spend nursing hangovers to miss seeing it.
The problem that I have is that I miss having a local. I’ve been in Vienna long enough to see places come and go, as well as to know where I like to go out and the kind of places I go to. The Cottageviertel seems so residential that there really is nowhere to go on my own doorstep (it doesn’t have to be literally on my doorstep as my evenings out are controlled rather than bibulous affairs). I can head up to Salettl, but that is too sedate and lacks the genuine bar feel. Cafe Billroth just isn’t for me and Fischerbräu is often too busy to make it a realistic choice.
Irish Pub Graf is only opening on weekdays, and is a touch too quiet. SLU, the gin bar, is just not my kind of place, and so that is why given that a couple of the little local dive bars have called time for the last time, that I struggle to find somewhere to feel at home. Places have come and gone on the Billrothstrasse, and the Cottageviertel feels like a buffer zone to Heurige country.
There are times when I will gladly head into town for a beer, but the whole comfort of a local is the fact that it should be that. The kind of place where you know if you need a litre of milk to tide you over, or a cheese toasty or maybe even just a good cool beer you can head there like a port in a storm. 1-2 good draught beers, maybe a couple of others on tap, and I’m good. A house wine is a bonus.
A selection of papers and magazines might be nice, but I don’t need wall-to-wall TV screens, pub quizzes, live music and all sorts of other kinds of events intended to part the students with their money. Just a good older man’s pub is all I am looking for, nothing showy, pretentious or over-priced. The search for an elusive Wirtshaus of this nature takes us all around Döbling and Währing, but with hub and spoke transportation gets quite difficult. Answers please on a postcard.
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