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Food & Drink: Ex-operator of the “Paris Bar” Michel Würthle died

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The “Paris Bar” is a legendary Berlin address. Now the man who shaped her for many years has died.

The former operator of the legendary Berlin “Paris Bar” and artist Michel Würthle is dead. He died in Berlin on Wednesday at the age of 79, as his friend and lawyer Robert Unger announced on Thursday. Several media had previously reported.

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Würthle was best known as the landlord of the “Paris Bar” in Berlin-Charlottenburg, where prominent regular guests come and go. According to the Steidl publishing house, Würthle studied art in Cologne and Vienna at the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s. He retained his passion for art to the end: his work “Paris Bar Press Confidential” was only published in 2021, in which he documented the pandemic period of the “Paris Bar” with collages, drawings and short texts.

Würthle acquired the “Paris Bar” in 1979 together with a childhood friend. In the description of his book it is referred to as the “most important artists’ bar in Germany”. One of the legends says that Würthle sometimes had his prominent guests pay with works of art instead of money.

Kippenberger paid with oil paintings

The painter Martin Kippenberger was his best friend, the writer Oswald Wiener his mentor, as the “Spiegel” wrote in 2022. According to this, Kippenberger was allowed to eat and drink for free in the “Paris Bar” until his early death, he paid Würthle with black and white oil paintings. In addition to the “Borchardt” in the former eastern part, the “Paris Bar” in the City West is one of the best known Berlin restaurants. The “Spiegel” listed the range of guests: from Max Frisch to Rainer Werner Fassbinder to David Bowie. A brass plaque on the counter identified actor Otto Sander as a regular guest. The restaurant is “an integral part of Berlin,” said regular guest Udo Walz, who preferred to eat a nice piece of meat with fries and Béarnaise sauce there. The “second living room” of the hairdresser who died in 2020 was on Kantstrasse. In the “Spiegel” article from 2022, Würthle outlines his idea of ​​​​the bar as follows: “Well, it should be world-famous. And good. And shit. Above all, unique. What always got on my alarm clock terribly are so-called artists’ bars. But Of course it’s very important that there are artists there. But as few politicians as possible. And actors are needed who were admired.”

Source: Stern

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