Salon zur wilden Renate is one of our favourite beer gardens in Berlin. But it’s not overflowing steins that keep us coming back--it’s what’s beneath our feet.
We wanted to work up a little thirst before our first pint, so we headed below Renate to explore the underground scene. And by “scene,” we’re talking about a secret labyrinth known as Peristal Signum.
Visiting the labyrinth at dusk, our first task was to find the gatekeeper. On our visit it was a woman wearing a white headband standing next to a canoe. Yes, a canoe. In the middle of a deserted Berlin street.
She took our money, handed us each a heavy, gold-painted coin, and told us to wait; she'd find us when it was our time to enter. We were blindfolded and escorted into a chamber beside a stairwell and told to "follow the instructions."
The world outside—all those people drinking beers and enjoying a summer evening—immediately disappeared. Everything from then on just got...weird. The further we went, the stranger it seemed. The experience tests your senses. The labyrinth is constructed completely out of found materials, so you're never really certain what you're about to touch or what you might see around the corner. In other words, it’s a whole different kind of blackout experience
Everyone has a different journey inside the labyrinth, because there’s no “right” way to go through it. A few parts of the maze are impossible to avoid, but for the most part you can create your own path. But don’t worry, if you start to feel lost and alone, just keep going because all at once the labyrinth changes and you're surrounded by your teammates--ready to head aboveground for a pint.
Our recommendation: visit Peristal Signum with a friend. Be prepared for a night you won't forget anytime soon. And girls, leave the skirts and heels at home—things can get a bit tight on the inside.
Persistal Signum is open Wednesday to Saturday, from 18:00 to 22:00, at Salon zur wilden Renate, Alt-Strahlau 70, Berlin. Expect a wait to get inside. 10€.
Photos courtesy of Adam Groffman.