Beer in Berlin: Zum Nussbaum, Nikolaiviertel
Nikolaiviertel is a small area of Mitte, near Alexanderplatz and Museum Island, which appears older than it actually is. Like much of Berlin, it was flattened towards the end of the war, but in 1980s was rebuilt by the East German authorities for the city’s 750th anniversary, with Berlin’s “oldest” church, the twin-spired Nikolaikirche at its centre.
Opposite Nikolaikirche, now a museum rather than a working church, is a small pub-restaurant called Zum Nussbaum (Walnut Tree), which was built in 1985-7 based on the plans of a destroyed pub that once stood in another part of Berlin.
It’s a small three-room pub with around forty seats. We were lucky to get a seat on a Tuesday afternoon, in the dark wood-panelled back room with small prints from the cartoonist and artist Heinrich Zille, who is commemorated with a statue and museum nearby.
The range of beers was limited to those from Berliner Kindl, but we both went for the recommendation in Around Berlin In 80 Beers: Postdamer Rex Pils, a satisfying bitter pilsner. We had a tasty late lunch of Boulette (a kind of meatball/burger) and Bockwurst with potato salad.
Zum Nussbaum is a pleasant, cosy pub in a nice area. However it was difficult to forget that this quarter was destroyed in the most tragic period in Berlin’s history and that this seemingly aged pub is seven years younger than me.