Savor the last days of summer on the terrace of the 25hours Hotel’s Dachboden bar

Late summer may be the best season to enjoy Vienna: As the evenings grow long again, locals scramble to make the most of the last golden days before another grey winter sets in. And better still, with half the (student) population either still on holiday or recovering, a usually crowded venue can feel like a private club.

Such a spot is the hip Dachboden (attic) bar at the 25hours Hotel, usually packed except in late summer/early fall, when getting a drink is a most civilized affair.

Making our way there on a still-humid Wednesday night, we witness the unthinkable: the total absence of a queue.  We hop into the elevator, ignoring the gorgeous view to check the mirror, making sure we look fancy enough to fit in: Guys in deep-cut shirts and girls with tattoos (the trendy hipster, not the heavy metal variety) mingle with the occasional hotel guest wandering in, bewildered by the realization that they are sleeping right under one of the hottest bars in town.

Stephan Lemke
© Stephan Lemke

The decor is contemporary industrial chic, with plenty of bare concrete, exposed pipes and ventilation shafts, mismatched furniture and musical instruments hung haphazardly from the ceiling. A group of young men near the bar order champagne by the bottle. They are suited up in identical outfits straight from the set of the latest Bachelor season. While the A/C fights a losing battle against the late summer heat, one of them takes off his jacket, revealing a shirt so wet we wonder if he took a swim in the fountain downstairs.

Top of the world

From New York to Berlin, rooftop bars are the places to be in fair weather. Vienna however is different – whether from a lack of skyscrapers or the prevalence of the traditional Schanigarten, the idea never really became a thing here. Thus the enormous success of Dachboden was actually more an accident than the result of a smartly drafted business plan: When the 25hours Hotel opened in a redecorated former dormitory in 2011, the bar was merely an afterthought, serving primarily as the reception area for hotel guests.

Nobody expected a hotel bar to become the place to be for locals – until hordes of Neubau hipsters started lining up every night to enjoy an Aperol Spritz and gawk at the spectacular view. On a clear day, in fact, you can see all the way to the vineyards of Klosterneuburg.

Stephan Lemke
© Stephan Lemke

Mostly an after work watering hole, Dachboden does occasionally turn up the volume: The best night is Wednesday, when FM4 DJ Hermes plays jazz and swing tunes. The crowd is usually too cool to actually break out into a full-blown party, but if you’re looking to decompress with a stylish crowd and smooth tunes, this place is as good as it gets.

Good news for those afraid of heights: On September 10 from 11:00 onwards, the 25 Hours Hotel will host a park party in its front garden in cooperation with the Markterei, offering street food and live bands. The after party will of course be at Dachboden; though by then, the queues may be back from their well deserved summer vacation.   

25hours Hotel Dachboden
7., Lerchenfelderstr. 1-3
Open daily 15:00-01:00
(01) 15 21 51 0

 

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Andreas Rainer is a journalist and writer based in Vienna. He lived across the pond in the U.S. and Canada for three years which gave him a new love for Vienna from an outsider's perspective. He headed the Vienna branch of the San Francisco based food app Yelp for the past six years, making him a prime source of insider knowledge on new restaurants hidden bars. He authored the Guide Book Vienna for Germans (2017) and made the short list (2015) and long list (2016) for the "Wortlaut" short fiction contest, tweets at @an_rainer