Bonn. The Rhineland-Palatinate pavilion in the Rheinaue still lies empty. However, the renovation and extension plans for its use as a restaurant could now be moving forward.
Lessee Dirk Dötsch, who also runs the Parkrestaurant Rheinaue in the former grounds of the national horticultural show, has submitted a planning application. “For a while I had the feeling we were going round in circles. However, I am now confident I have fulfilled all of the city’s requirements,” said Dötsch. The city has confirmed receipt of the planning application. It will now be reviewed. It wants to report on the results at the district council’s meeting in May. The Bürger Bund Bonn (Bonn Citizens’ Federation) had asked about the current position in the latest meeting on Tuesday.
When asked, Markus Schmitz from the city’s press office stated: “The application is approvable in principle, but various details, which arose from changes to the outline planning application, still need to be processed.” These relate, among other things, to noise protection for the planned outside eating area during changes to operating hours as well as areas to compensate for the additional sealing of park areas in the landscape conservation area because of construction.
Rheinaue is a protected historic area
The contract with the city has now been running for a year, said Rheinaue lessee Dötsch. The first idea to revive the pavilion dates back to 2014. Dötsch had to amend certain parts of the original planning application in cooperation with the city. As early as 2016, the Cologne district government’s Office for the Protection of Historic Monuments expressed doubts about the initial original plans for an alpine restaurant with lots of wood. The Office is involved because the entire Rheinaue has protected status. Dötch’s original reconstruction plans went too far for politicians and preservationists.
The city also demanded noise protection reports, concrete information on visitors’ arrival and departure traffic and for delivery traffic as well as possible events. Dötsch emphasised there had been good cooperation with the city. In his view, all the necessary information is now available.
The restaurant owner is planning the renovation of the existing building on the hill next to the Bötchen Lake. He wants to have a kitchen, toilets and bathroom facilities installed for future employees. He is planning to use the two extension buildings for visitors. He estimates the extension will be able to seat around 175 people. In addition there would be tables and chairs outside, including on a terrace with a view of the lake.
The exterior façade of the octagonal wine pavilion will remain and the extension will have large glass windows to provide a beautiful view. The ambience should exude an alpine atmosphere. Tyrolean bread and Swiss chocolate will be on the menu. However, Dötsch wants regional companies to supply him.
The restaurant will not be a “party temple.” Concerts are not planned. If the city accepts the building application, Dötsch estimates he needs to invest an amount in the millions: “Because the building has been vacant for a long time, it is time to start now.” If the conversion and extension can start in the summer, he could be greeting the first guests at Easter 2019.
Original text: Philipp Königs. Translation: kc