What an awkward name, really. When I call my friends to meet at WerkzeugH I don’t really know if, and how, I should pronounce that ‘H’ at the end. But there’s a reason behind it – this favourite drinking hole amongst students on Schönbrunnerstraße was nostalgically named after a tool shop called Werkzeug Huber that used to exist in the same building.
As soon as I sit down on one of the bar’s many couches and order a Spritzer, my frustration with the phonetically challenging name fades and it grows on me, for two specific reasons.
One, it does make some sense on a level of association when considering the layout and personality of the place. WerkzeugH possesses the chaotic charm one would expect from a a garden workshop of some eccentric do-it-yourself-er. Come to think of it, there’s even a tiny wooden shed in the courtyard square in front of the place where in summer, it’s possible to chill inside and play Nintendo.
And two… well, by the time I reached this sentence, I had forgotten the second reason. But it probably had something to do with the enormous sense of relaxation that kicks in as I’m clinking glasses with friends in this quirky public living room.
Drinking is not all there is to WerkzeugH, as there are also warm dishes on the menu. The selection is changing on a daily basis, but it usually consists of 4 main courses, a salad and a soup. While the focus is on vegetarian dishes, I chow down on a Chili con Carne, followed by chocolate and coffee, which all really isn’t far from amazing.
Usually I’m a fan of minimalist interior design in bars, restaurants and cafes – put in just the essentials before you embarrass yourself by cramming the place with artful décor that’s translated as kitsch by others. But WerkzeugH has its own unique approach to interior design in which an upside-down tent serves as a lampshade, while most light bulbs just hang from the sealing on cables.
The sealing is covered with ventilation ducts and there are plants splattered everywhere, which in combination with the huge window front, gives the place a bit of a greenhouse feel. Under one of the pile of plants hides a wooden pianino.
The style of seating setup varies with almost every table, with old couches making up a lot of it. A red garage door separates the smoking area from the rest. There is a lot of stuff. But even I have to admit – it works.
And it probably is that eccentric character that grants WerkzeugH its cult status amongst students and cool people of all ages and professions.