A hidden 200-year-old cellar in Vienna has been transformed into an architecturally award-winning cocktail bar, after two years of renovations.
Located between the iconic Votivkirche and the Sigmund Freud Museum, the cellar was discovered behind a bricked-up wall by a real estate firm, looking to expand the building above. Finding instead an 18th-century vaulted cellar, historians soon surmised that the space was a semi-legal speakeasy in the 1950s and 1960s, hosting jazz greats, while it may have hosted underground dance events in Freud’s era.
In this spirit, the space has transformed into an elegant cocktail bar, eight metres underground. The entrance is an unassuming doorway unless you spot the queue to get in on a Friday evening.
Entry is via a low-lit floating stairway, leading to stone archways and a seven-metre-long walnut bar, cased in Italian black marble. There’s gold-clad ventilation pipes above and numerous hidden alcoves with low leather couch seats or bean bags to perch upon.
The bar also features Vienna’s smallest art museum and a shuffleboard — no detail here has been overlooked in design terms. Each corner of Krypt has been made by architectural firm Buro KLK to enhance the original brickwork and archways, creating a spacious atmosphere of luxury, that can be enjoyed by students and celebrities alike — Jude Law is said to have visited in late 2017.
There’s no dress code and no guest lists here, instead, the waiters are friendly and the bar blessedly smoke-free (a rarity in Vienna). Cocktails are priced within the €10-€12 range and though there’s only seating for 52 people, the 250 square metres of space allows plenty more to flow in and out of the cosy alcoves or sit by the bar and watch the bartenders work their magic.
Krypt is a welcome addition to Vienna’s burgeoning cocktail bar scene in the 9th district, luring travellers and locals into its underground delights.
By Carly Hulls