Friday, December 7, 2012

Restaurant for Ladies in Berlin

From the Temperance Caterer (UK),
February 15, 1903
Restaurant for Ladies in Berlin

Location: Berlin, Germany

Opened: 1903

Closed: ?

This is one of the more intriguing notices for a ladies restaurant. 

Typically the ads for ladies restaurants show that they're merely adjunct spaces attached to (male-only) dining areas. Not only that, but the ladies restaurants were nearly always open to male escorts. As a result, they sometimes had more men than women occupying the available tables and chairs.  

Not this one--which most unfortunately, has no name or address attached. This ladies restaurant in Berlin, which was advertised in a London temperance newspaper, was strictly for women

Berlin train station - Friedrichstrasse  (1900)
Restaurant for Ladies in Berlin.

A ladies restaurant on an extensive scale is about to be erected in Berlin. It is entirely to be managed by women, and only women will be employed as attendants. No men will be admitted or employed in any capacity whatsoever. The restaurant is intended for ladies, and more particularly young girls, shopping or passing through Berlin, who otherwise could not enter a restaurant unaccompanied, but must have recourse to one of the numerous confectioners' shops, where only tea and coffee and light refreshments are found. Ladies' hotels already exist near the large railway stations in Berlin, and a notice is posted in the railway carriages informing young girls travelling alone that ladies meet every train arriving in Berlin, and will assist them in finding suitable lodgings, or see them off if they are travelling further.
Women in wartime Berlin (1900)

Not only do we have no name or address for this restaurant, we have no names of any of the women involved or what organization that might have been associated with. Very frustrating! 

I have seen other women's organizations that met trains in large cities, in order to keep girls out of the hands of pimps and others who would lure them into prostitution or domestic exploitation in general. The White Rose Home for Colored Working Girls which was organized by African-American women in Harlem (USA) is but one example. Here we see a similar mission being carried out in Germany. 

Women window cleaners in Berlin (1900)
Hoping that by some lucky accident I stumble across more information on this restaurant and the women behind it. When or if I do, you know I will share it with you ASAP. 

1 comment:

  1. Please visit
    Well I don't know if I'm ever going to come to Berlin, but thank you for this guide, it's very well done!


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