20. November 2023
Ernst Berlin closes at the end of 2024
The gourmet scene in Berlin is facing new challenges, and renowned chef Dylan Watson-Brawn’s flagship restaurant “Ernst” will close at the end of 2024. This decision reflects a wider crisis in the fine dining segment influenced by a variety of factors, including inflation, staff shortages and the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
Watson-Brawn, who has a distinguished career in the gourmet world, cited “various reasons, some of them personal” for the closure, but also noted the difficulties of running a fine-dining restaurant in the current economic climate in Germany. The “Ernst” restaurant was known for its 25 to 30 Japanese-inspired courses, which were created spontaneously from the daily specials.
The situation is not limited to “serious”. Other highly rated restaurants in Berlin are also trying to find new strategies to attract guests. They are now increasingly offering low-threshold services and campaign days, which indicates a general uncertainty in the sector.
The reasons for these developments are complex. In addition to economic factors such as rising costs and declining purchasing power, external circumstances such as the decrease in air travel also play a role, especially as many gourmet restaurants rely on international guests.
In summary, the closure of “Ernst” and the changes in Berlin’s gourmet scene point to increasing polarization: On the one hand, the mainstream with affordable offerings; on the other, catering for the super-rich. The space in between seems to be shrinking more and more.
(Source: Süddeutsche, Instagram Ernst Berlin)