The new Brasserie Schwabing opened on Thursday and yesterday I had the opportunity to find out for myself what the replacement of my favourite café was like.
The good news is that the look of the place is not bad at all. Lots of dark wood wainscotting contrasting with pale wood flooring, very modern lighting but compatible with styling which is pleasingly retro with Art Deco flourishes. The enlarged windows are a definite asset. And, yes, there is comfortably upholstered seating.
The layout has been well planned. Turn left inside and the space is given over to a cosy bar which is likely to be very popular. Trun right and the first section will welcome café guests and then there are two steps up to where the tables are set for fine dining.
Which brings me to the matter or the menu. There is now hardly any main dish costing less than EUR 20 and the wine list has a fine claret for EUR 330. The spend for my customary espresso and half-litre glass of beer will now be EUR 6.50, only fifty cents more than before.
I'll miss the team of pretty waitresses who made the old Café Schwabing so friendly. The dozen big television screens showing Sky Sports programming are also gone. Most of the servers are now young men who, yesterday evening, seemed to be struggling to settle in- The website is 'under construction'. This applies to the coordination between the kitchen and the front-of-house, but the service confusion and delay which annoyed slightly yesterday can surely be written off as teething problems.
A petty complaint to maintain my reputation as a snobbish curmudgeon. There are a good number of artworks hung on the walls in the café and dining area, doubtless intended to add a cosmopolitan or even bohemian touch. But a reproduction of one of Toulouse-Lautrec's posters for Aristide Bruand? Pardonable on the wall of a freshman student anxious to be seen as a sophisticate. But in the context of an ambitious new restaurant I find the choice odd, lacking in self-confidence and slightly sad.