Tuesday, February 13, 2007

CAFE LLOYD 1983 -2007 (???)



I don't know what's happening with the old Cafe Lloyd in my hometown of Ulm but a friend told me it was sold. Will it still be the "Lloyd" after they rebuild it? I don't know. All I know is I spent a significant part of my younger years in here. When it opened in 1983 it was one of the first punk/new wave cafe/places in town, it was a tiny space, and it was very cosy and dark, the windows were covered, it was this weird little secret place, a new thing. I only went there a few times in the very early days. It soon got its first extension, a kind of garden-house-like space with big potted yucca plants, pink neon tubes in the window, mirrors, again with a neon tube display in various bright colours, and big windows that were now open to the outside. Next to that was a tiny garden where about half of a pink original Lloyd car lay stranded. Later there was another extension there too, but even with these two extensions it was still small. It soon became an institution, it was vaguely trendy, vaguely not, a bit grotty, a bit over the top sometimes, but nevertheless it retained a certain oddball vibe that was rooted in the 80s when it had its heyday. Throughout the 80s and 90s a circle of close friends would meet there regularly. We would sit in the cafe for hours talking and drinking, play the pinball machine, hang out. It was somewhere where it was ok to be. You would always meet people there. The music in there was always fairly well chosen. You would hear new records in there, at least in the old days. Sometimes it was funky, edgy, claustrophobic and almost clubby in there, other times just chilled. The milky cafe was good. It was always a bit too small but that was part of its appeal too. For a long time one or two or three meetings at Christmas there was a given. Where else? I walked though this door hundreds of times. The neon tubes in the window stayed throughout, looking dated in a cool way in the end. The 80s chic came and went, came back etc. The Lloyd became just another cafe in the end, I guess. I don't know what happened.

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