After spending the last twelve winters in a small town of 1500 people on an Adriatic island, I was rather looking forward to sampling some of the nightlife of Munich.
After a few days solo, a friend called me and told me I HAD to come to this amazing bar for a concert the following evening.
Perfect, I thought to myself - here I was about to find one of Munich's hottest places. I wondered how far it would be from my cosy temporary home in Trudering.
"Take the train to Kufstein and buy a ticket to a place called Oberaudorf. I will meet you at the station," my friend told me.
The Austrian border? With all the assumed great nightlife in Munich still undiscovered, why would I be going to some small little town an hour away by train. I got even more intrigued when I heard that the bar in question, Rolleria, specialises in Vespa sales and repairs.
On their official promo material, Rolleria offers the following services, in this order:
Vespas - Spare Parts - Repairs - Cafe - Bar - Live Acts
My friend is a king of nightlife tips and so I headed down south on the Kufstein train, with no idea at all where I was going. As I don't ski, I had never heard of Oberaudorf, and I was not even sure which country it was in. My German is a little rusty after 25 years, and I assumed I would be immersed in thick Bavarian anyway, so I was not really expecting a great night.
And then I met Mike, the owner.
An accomplished musician in his own right (I have been told not to miss the Carnival party at Hofbrauhaus on January 24, where he is playing), Mike manages to blend his obsessive love with Vespas and his own musical career with a very funky bar, which only works on his terms - Wednesday to Saturday from 17:00 onwards.
After I had made several new friends within minutes of meeting the building, I settled back to enjoy the live music, from a duo called Combo Podolskij Schuller, who sang in Russian despite their Bavarian roots, to the accompaniment of guitar and double bass, with some outstanding trumpet support from two guest musicians, and they were all truly outstanding. I don't have any footage of their performance that night, but here they are in action below.
Rolleria is not that big, but it was packed with new friends and old, with everyone taking respite from the snow outside and enjoying the genuine warm hospitality and great music inside. I found that my German improved with an increased intake of the reasonably-priced beers.
I was surprised to see such high quality live music from a band who had travelled in such a small venue, but I was told that that was due to the connections owner Mike has within the regional music scene. Bands which could command a high performance fee to bigger audiences elsewhere are happy to come to Rolleria to play for the atmosphere and whatever money is collected in a hat which was passed around the crowd at the end of the performance.
Of course, with one eye on train times, the musicians were looking to depart back to Munich, but they were clearly enjoying their enthusiastic reception, and played an encore or two more than they had planned. And possibly missed a train...
Rather than being a one-off concert, Rolleria has a comprehensive programme for the winter, with 3-4 concerts a month. Next up on January 23 is Pony Malta, a "Lateinamerikanische Rhythm und tiefe Musikalitat, die jeden Song zu einer Geschichte machen", followed by Donnerbalkan und Bierfuizlziang, "Klange und Rythmen des Balkans in der Stilrichtungen des Pop und bayerischer Blasmusik."
If the Vespa service is only half as good as the bar side, Rolleria is a true hidden gem indeed.
Rosenheimer Str. 27