Dismantled Schanigarten at "zur urigen Gruam"
Living in the part of the 19th I am in has many pluses, although a bolthole for a quick beer is proving elusive.

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I enjoy living in a leafy suburb with pleasant surroundings. During the summer, the opportunity to have a dinner out on the terrace with my wife once the children are asleep is one I regularly make use of. And to enjoy a glass of wine or beer, or a gin and tonic, or a Pimm’s (the subject of what the best mixer is for Pimm’s in Austria will probably fill a post of its own). With the evenings starting to draw in, a bar to retreat to has an increasing appeal – especially with a good beer on tap, but this is one area where sometimes my immediate surroundings in Untersievering and Oberdöbling are found slightly wanting.

With my holiday quest this summer having also been to hit my daily step targets on my fitness tracker, I have also used the opportunity to try to track down and explore local watering holes, and with the nights now drawing in, the snug comfort of a bar is more appealing than sitting outside in modest temperatures. I’ve been off to Anton Frank with another long-term Briton a couple of times, a bar in neighbouring Währing, and fellow 19th district blogger, the Curmudgeon in the Cottage, has also voiced his views about the difficulties of finding somewhere to have a drink nearby (although he is based in the rarified climes of the Döblinger Cottageviertel).

I’ve long known about the Fischerbräu, at the bottom of Billrothstrasse and have been to various parties and nights out there (and the odd sneaky after work drink), but technically that is just outside Oberdöbling, but it is close enough to count. Additionally next door there is a nominally Irish bar (Irish Pub-Restaurant Graf), which I have been to only a couple of times, and which is an unremarkable experience.

Robert’s Alt-Sievering is close by, but my wife and I ventured in once for supper when she was heavily pregnant with our eldest child, and have never ventured back (it wasn’t by any means bad, but just didn’t say to us “become a regular occurrence”).

Where the 35a bus turns into Krottenbachstrasse there are a couple of bars, one Cafe Billroth, which is an old man’s bar and never particularly full and also not open at weekends during the summer. I’ve been there in the dim and distant past, but it smacks of leatherette and is the kind of place I’d go if I wanted a beer desperately and was open, but otherwise it just never grabs me as I go past.

Just over the road from Billroth, there is a small modern bar, called Cafe Marvana, which opened in 2018 around the time of the FIFA World Cup, and has a small Schanigarten too, which is pleasant. There is Trumer on tap, and they have a good range of wines and spirits, and the place is deceptively pleasant – very quiet on a Sunday night or for an after work beer, but pleasant nonetheless. The inside has been done up nicely and it is a good place for a quiet beer.

The most curious bar, and possibly one of the closest (excluding the cafe in the old people’s home, which has beer on tap next door to my flat) is in the EKZ (Einkaufszentrum) on Krottenbachstrasse by the Hofer. I went into s’Häferlcafe for a Sunday drink to see if the unappealing décor outside was concealing some kind of hidden treasure in the Vienna bar scene. It wasn’t – it seems to thrive as a staging post for the Neustifter Kirtag, but after a quick beer alone, I duly went on my way.

A few weeks previously, having packed for holiday, I finally conquered my aversion to “zur urigen Gruam“. The place has Murauer on tap and is under five minutes away. The Schanigarten was pleasant enough, although the clientele was exclusively male and very local and I felt very conscious of not being local enough, and the owner seemed to be considerably the worse for wear.