Gentrification opponents won a rare victory on Sunday, March 19, when an embattled bakery won a new lease from its landlord.
The Filou bakery on Reichenberger Strasse in once-alternative Kreuzberg will be granted a fresh three-year lease that would automatically renew for five years, according to the Filou Bleibt Facebook page. Terms will remain the same.
“A big thank you to all supporters of our ‘Filou Stays’ campaign and to the operator of the Vertikal Restaurant & Bar, Claire d’Orsay, who always defended Filou to the owners,” the page wrote.
The owners of Filou’s building unexpectedly cancelled the bakery’s lease early this year. The move was seen as an attempt to boost rents in the neighborhood in keeping with the ongoing gentrification.
Neighbors and the anti-gentrification Bizim Kiez group protested the cancellation and called on the London-based landlords Charles Skinner and David Evans to allow Filou to remain.
The owners of the bakery and the building met Thursday with outgoing Berlin parliamentarian Hans Christian Ströbele as well as neighborhood groups Bizim Kiez and GloReiche but were unable to reach a compromise.
The protests peaked earlier this year when vandals smashed the windows of restaurant Vertikal — Filou’s neighbor — and left anti-immigrant graffitti.
Photo thanks Filou Bleibt Facebook page.