In recent years, Berlin has developed a string of successful wine bars based on one brilliant idea- you simply pay at the end what you think the experience was worth. Forum (Fehrbelliner Strasse 57) is a very successful example of one of these wine bars, providing a cosy, shabby-chic location to sit and sample a few glasses of wine. Photo courtesy of unknown
The concept is simple- Upon entering, you make a 1 euro payment for glass hire and then simply help yourself to a glass of whichever bottle of wine takes your fancy. Refills are all part of the idea, so you're welcome to return and sample as many of the wines as you would like. There are plenty of wine options on offer and the staff are happy to talk you through your selections and make suggestions if you're unsure of what you're after. You then go and sit in a comfortable spot somewhere in one of the various rooms, all furnished somewhat like an old living room. Sometimes there will even be a buffet filled with various cakes, pasta, bread, croissants etc for you to nibble at along with your wine. After enjoying some food and drink, a cosy atmosphere and good company you then simply return your glass at the bar and pay an amount depending on what you think it was worth.
Of course it is expected that you are reasonable, if you spend hours sitting and drinking multiple glasses of wine and only pay 5 euro the staff are bound to be unimpressed, and the system can only work provided everyone is fair and honest. Forum is a great bar/cafe in its own right and the 'pay what you want' night is a fantastic experience and a wonderfully relaxing way to spend an evening at very little expense.