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Café Kreuzweg - First free restaurant in Germany

A project from Diakonische Stadtarbeit Kreuzweg e. V.
in Lörrach, Germany

A free café in the middle of the city for everyone, open in the evening, everyone can come, eat and drink, talk, meet new people and enjoy live music. During the day a centre with various social and cultural activities.

Robert Horvath
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About this project

The house Teichstr. 24 is located at the edge of the Lörrach pedestrian zone and is handed over to the association for use free of charge. The complete house will be renovated and converted for the purposes of the association. The offices for the employees/social pedagogues will be located on the upper floor, the basement will be converted into a band rehearsal room and the ground floor will be used as a multifunctional café with free restaurant in the evening with live music and during the day as a socio-cultural meeting centre. Among other things, German courses for foreigners and seminars can also be held here. Target groups are also marginalised groups and socially disadvantaged people. These include cliques of young people, people from the drug scene, ex-prisoners and people suffering from social isolation. These people should be given a platform to stay in the café without being forced to consume, to get into conversation, to get to know other people and to network. Need is given. 

Volunteer teams from different parishes or private individuals should take over the café operation in the evening. The volunteers are trained beforehand and prepared for their work. The concept has worked successfully as a model and example for 20 years in Basel in the Café Elim of the Diakonische Stadtarbeit Elim. Young up-and-coming bands are to be given the opportunity to practice there regularly free of charge in the band rehearsal room. Café Kreuzweg will also provide a platform for live musical performances.

Approximately 160,000 euros have been budgeted for the renovation and conversion. When the reconstruction is completed and the appropriate infrastructure is thus in place, this institution will become an indispensable institution in the region around Lörrach, an enrichment in the life and everyday life of many. It is not only about food and drink, but also about interpersonal contacts and help with problems. A sustainable enrichment for the cultural and social life in the city. 

The project is long-term in character and is intended to exist for many years. There will be a cooperation with the Lörracher Tafel. By applying for a grant from Aktion Mensch, a person will be employed who has experience in the fields of education, gastronomy and home economics. In addition there will be a 450-euro position. Such a project does not yet exist in Germany in this form and orientation and would therefore be unique. The opening is planned for spring/summer 2020.