For someone who is not an artist, Stephan Landwehr’s life is very much shaped by art. As Berlin’s premier framer, he is a major player in the city’s art scene. A shrewd collector and occasional curator, Landwehr co-owns the five-year-old Grill Royal, which he funded in part by selling a museum-worthy painting by Scottish artist Peter Doig for $2 million. The ambitious steak house has become a culinary hangout for key figures in the German art world, and a food critics’ favorite as well.
Landwehr is also known around Berlin for entertaining on a more personal scale. The dinner parties he hosts with his business partner Boris Radczun—a dapper former nightlife impresario and passionate home cook—are legendary for the amazing assembly of people (there have been as many as 400 guests) in his quirky, art-filled home. But lately, the success of the Grill Royal has kept Landwehr and Radczun too busy to organize many gatherings.
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Today, though, they’re having a dinner party to celebrate something new. The two of them, along with a third partner, Jessica Paul, have just launched Pauly Saal & Bar. Pauly Saal encompasses a modern German restaurant and a private dining room; a deli called Mogg & Melzer is located next door. The sprawling space takes up the entire ground floor and courtyard of the former Jewish Girls School, a 1928 brick structure that’s in the heart of Berlin’s fashionable Mitte district. The building has stood virtually empty for more than 15 years.