The Inns and Taverns of Stralau

Alt-Stralau 22
The many taverns and beer gardens that once shaped Stralau are now invisible and forgotten.


The little town on the water and its annual fair, the Stralauer Fishzug or Stralau Fish Haul, brought city-dwellers looking for a good time and a bit of nature out to the peninsula. Beginning in the mid-18th century, affluent citizens such as the banker David Splittgerber spent the summer at their homes in Stralau. In the 19th century, summer visitors like Karl Marx and day-trippers like the poet Theodor Fontane, as well as many other Berlin residents, made their way to Stralau. The Stralau fishermen became innkeepers and barkeepers, and their wives and widows often took over managing the establishments. After the introduction of so-called “open commerce” in 1810 by official decree, a pub could be found in the house of nearly every fisherman. In the first half of the 20th century, there were around 20 restaurants, inns, and taverns, many with a Kegelbahn (skittles alley) and a dance hall. Particularly on Dorfstraße, renamed “Alt-Stralau” in 1900, and Tunnelstraße, taverns abounded. Fishing had long since proven unprofitable, and the wastewater from local industry and the frequent shipping traffic had driven the fish away. The most well-known of these establishments was the Tübbecke Country Inn at Alt-Stralau 22. The first owner, Johann Tübbecke (1785–1837) had come to Stralau from Spandau. His son, Johann Julius Tübbecke (1824–1911), fisherman, innkeeper, and member of the town council, was married to Caroline Fetter (1827–1896). He was an exuberant local historian, she a well-liked innkeeper. Their son, Johann Julius Tübbecke Jr. (1849–1937) later took over the business. The fisher family was also an artistic one: Julius Sr. studied drawing at the academy of arts as a young man. The Tübbeckes and their inn are memorialized in the work of Theodor Fontane and Heinrich Zille. And the Stralau riverbank has carried Caroline’s name since 2009: “Caroline-Tübbecke-Ufer.”

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