Cookies Club: Berlin’s Techno Mecca
Cookies is a techno mecca for Berlin’s midweek party crowd, but when Heinz ‘Cookie’ Gindullis wants to let loose, he comes to Ibiza.
THE eternally cool Cookies club was born in 1994 as a small Berlin gathering without a home. Organised by Heinz ‘Cookie’ Gindullis, its transient origins saw the party shuffle around the city, squatting in different desolate spots, looking to lay roots. After seven relocations – the shortest occupancy lasting four months, the longest four-and-a-half years – Cookies finally found a home on the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Unter Den Linden in central Berlin, and what began as a slow-burning scene now has a fixed abode and a solid following.
Staying true to its underground roots, the unassuming venue today sees around 1,000 ravers flocking on a full night for a dose of electronica and techno. “Now people see it with a thousand people,” Gindullis says. “But 15 years ago it was only around 50.”
So what has made this simple party concept such an enduring success for some 17 years? “The special thing about Cookies is that we’re only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We’re not a weekend club. People come to Berlin and they want to go out on a Tuesday or Thursday night. And lots of the DJs and music artists choose to hang out at Cookies on their very rare nights off. That is the main thing in the city for that night. It’s always been like that. Never change a winning system!”
Expect a mixed crowd and a casual, grown-up ambience with the best dance music in town from local and international artists such as Argy, Alland Byallo, DJ Hell and Prins Thomas. “It’s not posh. We don’t have any VIP tables. You can order bottles at the bar but you get the bottle and you have to carry it over yourself. We have a lot of regular guests. People always come again.” As well as techno on Tuesdays and house on Thursdays, there’s a small dancefloor for hip-hop, funk, soul and disco.
Permanently based in Berlin, Gindullis is something of an Ibiza veteran, having visited regularly since 2001. He comes back when he can to soak up “the sun, the parties and the music” and to get a regular taster of island life. “The Jockey Club’s good. In the last few years they’ve opened up all kinds of places but I guess my favourite places to go in the day time are Sa Punta and Aigües Blanques”.
Cookies club continues to ride high on the hipster barometer, a magnet for those seeking an underground music fix. And while Gindullis has no problem persuading artists to play, there are still some he’s yet to pin down: “I’d like to
have Richie Hawtin again. He played once but that was like six years ago. And Ricardo Villalobos hasn’t played in the club yet.”
Alongside the main Cookies venue, Gindullis runs a high-end vegetarian restaurant, Cookies Cream, which is open five days a week, plus another restaurant and bar. There are also plans to launch a new open-air site in the city. And when it all comes to fruition, what will the party promoter with the coolest club in Berlin be doing with his treasured down time? “I will relax as often as possible in Ibiza.”
First published in Pacha Magazine, Ibiza, May 2011.
© Abbey Stirling