Hats off to Berlin’s beer hall for truly showing the meaning of holiday cheer during a pandemic.
Once Germany shut down restaurants and bars to face the second wave of COVID-19, they were out of business. However, one Berlin restaurant decided to flow the holiday spirit in an admirable, kind, and human way. Berlin’s biggest restaurant, Hofbraeu Berlin, has pivoted into sheltering 150 homeless people.
Hofbraeu Berlin worked with the city and welfare organizations to use their wide-open indoor space to try to assist the city’s probable 2000 to 12000 homeless. Hofbraeu manager, Bjoern Schwarz said that “We’ll try to offer Christmas-style dishes with lots of flavors.”
It was quite a change for Kaspars Breaks, a 43-year-old Latvian, who came to Berlin to look for work and ended up homeless after his passport was stolen. His previous nights, we’re all about struggling to stay warm in below-zero temperatures by a department store in the same square at Alexanderplatz.
The idea to change the bar into a welcoming place for the homeless came from an employee who while working there, also works at a local shelter. Schwarz immediately loved it since it also provided jobs to his employees, as well as some income.
Further than the food, the restaurant allows the homeless to clean up in their restrooms and offers clothes and counseling if they need them, and all are within the boundaries of the current COVID-19 restrictions. The giving spirit of Hofbraeu Berlin doesn’t end there. On their social media pages, they said that they are collecting donations to create packages of practical Christmas gifts for the homeless, in conjunction with welfare organization GEBEWO-Soziale Dienste-Berlin. Items like sweets, warm socks, thermal underwear, gloves, can be dropped off at the restaurant, which became viral and wildly appreciated and many participated.