On Tonight: Kleinod – Rough Gem in the First District
Dark, trendy and with an unerring eye for quality, Kleinod is a barman’s bar
A soft golden light glows from behind the dark paneling, bouncing onto the cushioned walls as I walk into the smoke-clouded room. I passed between the late-night guests crowded around the long white tables or leaning on the bar. Above is all curves, the luminous brushed steel marquis echoing the smooth rounded arches of the ancient stone. Bottles and glasses glisten, blending into an art-deco homage splashed with shimmering industrial chic. Though it’s half past midnight on a Tuesday, it’s evident from the the press of people and 1960’s blues hovering in the air that the evening is far from over.
Time for a cocktail. Loyal to the classics, I choose a Dark and Stormy from the leather bound menu, a drink familiar for it’s simplicity and comforting potency. Behind the bar I caught glimpses of metallic shakers setting the rhythm, hands and heads in constant motion. Minutes past. Why would it take so long to combine ginger beer and rum? The barman returned with his small masterpiece: a perfectly poured two-tone concoction. I smiled my thanks. His white shirt was rumpled, his bow tie dangling loosely round his neck … and when he turned, his back matched the art-deco furnishings. These guys work hard, paying close attention to details.
I took a sip and surveyed the scene. The crowd was a real mix, the counters lined by suits and cigars, the floor packed with well-heeled students and young professionals. I took a second sip and nodded approvingly: Kleinod is all about taste.
The proof’s in the drinking
Tucked away behind Stephansplatz on the corner of Singerstraße and Blutgasse, Kleinod is Vienna’s response to the curse of limited funds and an expansive palette. This city has no shortage of quality night spots, however Kleinod’s take on classic and original cocktails with reasonable price tags rivals their long-standing competitors within the city center.
Kleinod is Vienna’s response to the curse of limited funds and an expansive palette
The four responsible are Alexander Batik, Oliver Horvath, David Schober and Phillip Scheiber – all veterans of Vienna nightlife who between themselves have accumulated 60 years of bar experience, revealed in their drink recipes and casual rebuttal to traditional Viennese manners. Each brought his own clientele and signature drinks to the partnership.
This is a bar built by barmen for barmen, with every drink carefully conceived.
Reading like a beginner’s manual for drinkers, the menu is categorized by spirits and preparation times, allowing customers to find their “usual,” while intriguing descriptions tempt you to try something new. The classics are prepared up to standard with as much care as their originals, which are an adventure in metropolitan mixology.
Kleinod lets its drinks speak for themselves, their value and quality forgiving the (lack of) customer service. Only serious drinkers need apply.
1., Singerstraße 7
Mon- Sat 13:00-04:00; Sun 16:00-02:00
(01) 512 0325