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„Ami-Inns“ in Augsburg

 

During the long years of U.S. presence in Augsburg, inns, clubs and discos in the city were of considerable importance to the foremost bachelor GIs regarding their leisure activities. Gastronomy did not only profit by the American soldiers and their - in many cases - German male and female companions, they also gave them, for a long time, unforgettable memories of Augsburg to take home. Many establishments became legendary soldiers’ leisure time places, even if not always - sorry - exactly in a positive sense.

Facets of gastronomical life were, besides home sickness, especially convivial pastime, consumption of alcohol in most various sorts, American music and dancing, contact with young girls/women, Bavarian-Swabian cooking, but also brawls due to racism and alcohol excesses, hand in hand with drugs and prostitution. These were also combined with increasing violent crime. Psychically traumatized Vietnam War veterans supplemented the problem potential. The favorable dollar exchange rate of the early years boosted gastronomic enterprises in favor of the inn keepers (“Golden Years”). While several bars developed into exclusive Afro-American areas, many inn keepers protected themselves from unpleasant U.S. visitors with the well-known “Off Limits” signs at the entrance. The leisure world was kind of split for a while.

 

In the1950s a sign in front of Sheridan Kaserne pointed out the nearby “Broadway-Bar”, later “Bonanca-Bar”. (Photo: Amerika in Augsburg e.V. archives).

 

The ambience of the bar during the build-up years met the taste of the American soldiers as well as that of the growing-up post-war generation.

 

                                                        Typical ad of the American years.


Social and military/political conditions also influenced the gastronomical life for decades. In many cases, sexual intercourse not only resulted in extra-marital children, but also in marriages which ended more - or less - happy due to the new life in the United States. In today’s social networks it can be noted that German women with a happy “American marriage” became positive ambassadors of Augsburg in the States while still being strongly connected to their home town. Vice versa, American soldiers stayed here in favor of their Augsburg resp. German wives. Photos of former bars always show joie de vivre uninhibitedness between young Augsburg females and U.S. soldiers. Notwithstanding, contacts between GIs and German girls also led to tensions, caused by their different expectations.

The combination of guests made several inns to hotspots of continuous MP actions, racist mass brawls with up to three digit participants were almost on the daily schedule in the 1960s. Often they were quite brutal. It is also remarkable that, after many years in the busi­ness, inn-keepers, male and female, became almost legends in the U.S. scene. The take it easy attitude of the American soldiers created an uncomplicated guest-landlord relationship at a lick, thus also boosting the economy. American disc jockeys established themselves in the scene. As soon as clubs (NCO as well as EM) were opened inside the kasernes, the disquiet in public establishments eased off.

 

Uniformed U.S. soldiers visited typical German restaurants as here at the Hochfeld in 1953. (Photo: Johnnie Worth, 109th Infantry).

 

                                 Classical club life of the late 1950s. (Photo: Dillon Prendergast)

 

A typical scene at the Bahnhofsgaststätte Oberhausen in the 1960s, where the GIs of Reese Barracks met. Front, middle: landlord Josef (Joe) Klein, later inn-keeper of the “Last Chance”. (Photo: Josef Klein).

 

 

Almost no more visible American accents: a very Bavarian drinking scene of two GIs.(Photo: Dillon Prendergast).

 

A paratrooper of the 11th Airborne Division tastefully arranged his scrapbooks, here about visits at pertinent clubs. (Photo: Dillon Prendergast).

 

Passionate country performances of the late years at the “Silver Dollar” near Flak Kaserne, today “Spectrum”. (Photo: Michael Leary).

 

 

A Bavarian export hit until today: the Geißenmaß. Un unforgotten mix of dark beer, Coke and a shot of brandy. (Photo: Wayne Redick).

 

Please find below an alphabetical list of inns and bars/clubs that were selectively patronized by Americans and that were or still are oddly mentioned in historical compilations, in newspaper articles and social networks. As many more bourgeois inns were visited as often, this overall view can finally be exemplary only. Especially in the early years, almost all inns and bars/clubs near the kasernes were patronized by U.S. soldiers, this also goes for downtown pubs and cafés. The establishments are not listed chronologically ordered and sometimes may be listed several times because of name and/or proprietor changes.


Apollo Bar, Theaterstraße

Apollo Club, Zeugplatz 1(especially for officers, very early years)

Alexis Club Augsburg, Ulmer Straße /corner Langemarckstraße, Reese Kaserne

Alcatraz, Deutschenbaurstraße (former „Pussy Cat“, later-until today- „Onkel Pö´s“)

Atlantik-Bar-Cabarett, Kirchbergstraße 2/ corner Augsburger Str. (former „Bayerischer Hof“)

Bananas, Kaffeegäßchen 2 (City)

Broadway Bar, Von-Rad-Str. 19, near Sheridan Kaserne (50s)

Bologna (former „Krone“), Pizzeria, Fröbelstr. 7

Bonanca Bar, Von-Rad-Str. 19, former Broadway Bar

Bounty Bar, at Senkelbach (former „Florida Bar-Cabarett“), Wolfgangstr. 4

Big Apple, Gögginger Str. near Kongreßhalle (also „Clochard, Subway, Metro, Kerosin“)

Balkan Grill, Haunstetten („Siedlerhof“), Sämannstraße

Blaue Grotte („Reiner´s Grotte“), Körnerstraße 29 (former „Kaffee Reichsadler“)

Clichy (former „Playboy“, "Western Saloon", ex „Drei Könige“) Augsburger Str. 37

Costa Bar, Donauwörther Straße

Deutscher Kaiser, Hessenbachstr. 13

Deutscher Michel, Pfarrhausstraße 1a

Die Reichskrone, Oberhausen, Tobias-/ Neuhoferstraße, near St. Josef

Das goldene Kreuz, Oberhausen, Tobias-/ Maurerstraße

Florida Bar-Cabarett, at Senkelbach (later „Bounty Bar“)

Gasthof Gleich („Hillbilly“), Wertachbrücke

GG-Club, Maximilianstraße 71 (later „Liquid“)

GoGo-Bar, Pfersee (also „Bayerischer Hof“), Kirchbergstraße 2

Goldener Engel, Kaltenhoferstraße 11, near Bärenwirt

Goldener Engel, Augsburger Straße 13, Pfersee,

Golden Girl, Ulrichsplatz

Heidelberger Faß, Billerstraße 33

Heimgarten, Ulmer Straße/ corner Langemarckstraße (with beer garden)

Hochfeld Gaststätte, Firnhaberstraße 7, near Infantry Kaserne

Inselbar

Jägerhaus, Billerstraße 5, Oberhausen

Kakadu, Predigerberg 4

Kings Club, Obh. Bahnhof-underpass, Ulmer Straße-corner Sallingerstraße

Königsbau, Königsplatz (early years)

Las Vegas, Donauwörther Straße 32

Last Chance (unofficial name), Stadtberger Straße 33, former „Zum Schlößle“

Lechstüble, Vorderer Lech 45 (later Thing Bar)

Marstaller Hof, Kriegshaberstr. 4, near Flak Kaserne

Maxim, Theaterstraße

Oase, Augsburger Straße 37, Pfersee (former „Drei Könige“), oppsite police station

Oberhausener Bahnhofsgaststätte, inn-keeper later „Last Chance“, „Zum Schlößle“

Onkel Pö´s, Deutschenbaurstraße 20, (former „Pussy Cat, Gitanes Club, Alcatraz“)

Orlando, Pfersee, Augsburger Straße (also Western Saloon)

Österreichischer Kaiser, Oberhausen, Landvogtstraße 9, behind station (with beer garden)

Posthörnle, Uhlandstraße 22, (later „Our Place“ American Music Bar of FSA-OP´s)

Playboy, ab 1967, Pfersee, Augsburger Straße 37 (today a supermarket)

Pussy Cat, Deutschenbaurstraße (later „Alcatraz“)

Redneck Mothers, Neusässer Straße/ corner Ulmer Str. (later „Silver Dollar“)

Roter Ochse, Deutschenbaurstraße 2 (today „Manolito“)

Rumpelkammer, Von-der-Tann-Straße/ corner Bismarckstraße, near Infantry Kaserne

Siegeshalle, Pfersee, Spicherer Straße

Silver Dollar, Neusässer Straße/ corner Ulmer Straße (today „Spectrum“) near Flak Kaserne

Tenne Bar, Oberhauser Bahnhof (later „Charly Bräu, Disco-V.I.P.5 Club“)

Thorbräu Circus, Ludwigstraße,

Ulmer Post, Höchstettertraße 1

Uno-Bar, Deutschenbaurstraße 34, (in the 60s "Melodien Bar")

Unterbaarer Bierstuben, Ulmer Straße 218

Western Saloon, until 1967, Pfersee, Augsburger Straße 37 (later „Playboy“)

 

Bold letters indicate bars that were favored by Afro-American soldiers.

 

(Further components are the inns/bars in the area of the former Infantry Kaserne (Prinz Karl), in Westheim/Steppach, as well as in Gablingen and Stettenhofen, that were patronized by the soldiers of Gablingen Kaserne resp. the Field Station, which, however, are not listed here. A special chapter is written by those inns that were confiscated as Officers Clubs after the end of the war).


 

Left: The Restaurant “Heimgarten” outside of the North of Reese Barracks represented – as also other inns – the classical Bavarian inn culture plus a beer garden. (Photo: Kevin Stall). Right: In the 1960s, the Gaststätte "Hochfeld” was the nearby meeting point of Infantry Ka­serne’s GIs. (Photo: Amerika in Augsburg e.V. archives). 

 

                                                Typical restaurant design of the late years.

 

Even the bars finally were subject to the so-called conversion: Left the former “Blaue Grotte”, right the former “Last Chance”. A former soldier talking of memories of his tour of duty ‘component’ at the former disco in front of a Bavarian TV camera. Both buildings were altered to dwelling units, here still in the original architectural style. (Photo: Amerika in Augs­burg e.V. archives).

 

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