Brühler Milchbar celebrates 65th birthday in the open-air museum

Why cracks in the masonry are good

What actually became of the Brühler milk bar? We remember: on a warm night in August last year, the carefully groomed building made its way on a low-loader across the narrow Carl-Schurz-Straße to the open-air museum Kommern of the Rhineland Landscape Association.

What happened before: Blue moon in the milk bar and transport was about centimeters

There, a slightly sloping road now leads, the Lindenallee, past corrugated iron huts, the Nitnhuts, which the British troops had left behind shortly after the war to house homeless war victims.At the end of the street, the familiar sight of Mike Smith's beer pub presents itself as a real deja vu.

New address at the end of Lindenstraße

It is a peculiar reunion with the single-storey building and its characteristic arch shape, in which the Caracciola refrigerated counter was once at the centre of the action. From there, cool mixed milk drinks were served, which were also refined with ice cream or liqueurs, depending on the recipe. Preparations such as "White Dream" or "Blue Moon" went over the counter next to bottled beer. Cigarettes, chocolate, beer, sweets or "chewing gum" were offered in an integrated kiosk.

Carsten Vorwig behind the counter

As one of the buildings in the ensemble "Marktplatz Rheinland" it is intended to reflect the development of village structures in the Rhineland from the post-war period to the present day.As a corner house, it stands next to a tall lime tree and a yellow telephone booth from the post office, and has long since been on a concrete foundation. A foundation is already cast for the area of the billiard room.In the course of the relocation preparations it was demolished, in the museum the billiard room is to be completely rebuilt, according to the carefully documented specifications of the original.

"What is there about the old structure and how do we deal with it?"

Carsten Vorwig, project manager of the milk bar procession

On August 12, 1955, the family invited Josef and Gertrud Eich to the grand opening ceremony in the milk bar. Carsten Vorwig said that the ambitious goal of the museum team is to present the building in a good year, namely for the 66th birthday. "What is there about the old structure and how do we deal with it?" was the central question of the last few months until today.

Research into the substance

For further study of the substance, historians would have uncovered some layers of paint, from beige to red, on the wood panelling in the counter area and on the counter itself a blue paint, together with white diamonds probably the original color of the refrigerated counter. The floor under the plastic tile flooring was also explored.

Mural treated with respect

The discovery of the mural above the counter area, which was clearly visible on the old Sharp White photos, is very exciting, says Vorwig. Probably in the 1965s it disappeared behind a semicircular wall covering behind a thin, easily malleable pressboard.

Mural of the master painter Vogel

The pleasing underwater world, in the style of the then prevailing kidney table ornamentation, was probably tired at the time, Vorwig said. But at that time the mural of the Brühler painter Master Vogel was treated with a lot of respect, despite all the will to modernize, and it was not destroyed by overpainting. Also in the ceiling area a rather fragile structural painting was discovered under the suspension, which acts like the imitation of a bar parquet.

Ceiling design like a bar parquet

He did not know how much of it could still be obtained, especially since it is not yet quite certain where the journey is to go. But two time cuts are to be shown in the building to the later visitors of the house. However, at least three epochs are known and documented, Vorwig said. For one thing, it was the milk bar from 1955 that reflected the zeitgeist of the time in reconstruction Germany and the US-dominated culture.

Well documented until the very end

Then there is the rocker pub of the 1970s and of course the last, probably best documented condition, until 2019. Everything is well known and available for this purpose, starting with the wall paint over the plate covers and the image prints of the last owner Mike Smith, the grandson of the founders.

And one more thing was revealed by the move, which, incidentally, the building survived in good condition. A few cracks were created in the masonry. And in the wall towards the former parking side, they drew exactly the shape of a circular arch.

Hall cultivation remained unrealized

Cracks reveal door cut-out

It was the cut-out of a door that matched the spirit of the time, which the Eich family had already set up with a view to an early expansion of the milk bar, namely the door to a planned hall extension. However, the project failed because of a building permit. A larger location with alcohol is niqueder than the comparatively small one-room gastronomy of the milk bar was probably not in the sense of the Brühler city fathers, according to Vorwig.

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