One Trick Pony – Fine Drinks and Diving in Freiburg
“Small cities great bars” is the name of one of my categories on Barstalker, because good bars do not necessarily have to be located in metropolises. While you can find many different concepts in the big cities, it’s a different story in smaller towns. Here, the individual establishment has to convince with high quality and exiting customer experience. As not everyone has the opportunity to visit small fine drinking destinations join me on a sip to Freiburg, the university city with about 230,000 inhabitants, idyllically located in the Black Forest in southwest Germany.
One Trick Pony opened its doors in 2016 under the management of Boris Gröner und Andreas Schäler, both experienced professionals in their field. So, the naming of the bar was easy and already says it all. The expression “One Trick Pony” comes from the English language and means that someone or something is only good for one particular purpose, or at doing one particular thing.
The name says it all. A “one trick pony” has one successfull business area.
One Trick Pony Freiburg is a hotspot for drinks at a top-notch level – simple as that.
It took me a while to finally make it to Freiburg, but due to my writing activities for the Deutsche Barkeeper-Union e.V. in the magazine Drinks, I travelled to Freiburg to talk to one of the owners, Boris Gröner, about the topic of cost calculation in the bar business. The result is a dry cost cocktail with many ingredients and a slightly bitter finish, which can be read in the last issue of Drinks.
Of course, I was not only there for the interview, but also took the opportunity to “stalk” the award-winning bar extensively. So I started at around 4 p.m. with some wine and a good sip of rum in the Chin Chin Shop. In June 2021, the pony bar owners opened the Chin Chin Shop, to supply Freiburg’s drinking public with high-quality spirits, bar equipment and their bottled cocktails. The shop is located in the immediate vicinity, almost in front of the bar. Another advantage of the shop is that you can order One Trick Pony’s cocktails and enjoy them wherever you are.
Chin Chin Shop, born in the corona crisis and raised selling wines, spirits, bottled cocktails and equipment for your home bar.
After enjoying the Freiburg sun in front of the Chin Chin Shop, marvelling at the people strolling by and chatting at length with Boris, it was time to refresh our throats from the interview.
One Trick Pony is a classic American bar with a big focus on creating its own drinks and making its own ingredients. It is known for this in Freiburg and many people actually come to the bar especially for the drinks. Guests order between 70 and 80 percent of the menu. The cocktails consist of many homemade ingredients and I got a little tour through the preparation kitchen including technical equipment and ice production. In addition to its own creations, it has a large selection of spirits with a focus on bourbon, scotch, rum and rarities. The target drinker is 28 and up, who is beyond student age and has a bit more money in their pocket.
One Trick Pony is a classic American bar with a big focus on creating its own drinks and making its own ingredients.
Down I went into the basement to where the bar is actually located. I was greeted by the pleasant illumination of the bar set in scene very well and the beautiful tropical wallpaper. Passing the long bar counter the bar seemed to get bigger and bigger. Exposed bricks, black steel, cosy leather sofas, different levels to take a seat – the atmosphere is special, somehow magical. It used to be a club, hence the generous room layout and also the good acoustics.
This is what the “fine drinks and diving” description refers to. A dive bar is an informal neighbourhood bar, where local residents gather to drink and socialise. “According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the colloquial use of the word dive to describe a “drinking den” or “other disreputable place of resort” comes from the fact that these types of establishments were originally housed in cellars or basements, into which “frequenters may ‘dive’ without observation.”
pictures were provided by Boris Gröner and Andreas Schäler.
Time to take a look at the menu which lists a total of 20 cocktails. The list concept is internally consistent, harmonious and covers all tastes. My first drink of choice was a Pisco Paloozza, a mix of pisco, lime, cardamom, rosemary, salt plum and rose blossom. I followed this with mezcal drinks up to finishing with a Jamaica-inspired espresso martini. (It was a l o n g visit, just mentioned by the way).
What awaits you at One Trick Pony: Great hosts, attentive staff and of course good drinks. Cheers!