One of the world’s most famous cryptocurrency pilgrimage sites has apparently closed its doors to the public for the last time, based on social media reports and Google Maps.
Room 77, an otherwise nondescript bar located in Berlin, Germany, achieved widespread popularity within the crypto community after being recognized in 2011 as the first bar in the world to accept bitcoin.
Owned by Joerg Platzer, Room 77 had over the years built up a cult following for being a symbol of the cryptocurrency counter-culture, albeit a distinctly unpretentious one. In a post on his Twitter account, Cypherpunk Holdings Chief Economist Jon Matonis broke the news. A Google search appears to confirm that the bar has indeed shut down permanently.
The news was confirmed by proprietor Joerg Platzer. He announced yesterday to staff and a reddit post will be made soon.— Jon Matonis (@jonmatonis) October 18, 2020
“Warm Beer, Cold Women and Fast Food Served Slow”
Using the above slogan and branding his establishment as “the restaurant at the end of capitalism,” Platzer converted a run-of-the-mill Berlin cafe into one of Europe’s most recognizable crypto landmarks. Berlin-based crypto mining startup Cyberian Mine described Room 77 on its blog as a place with “an understated but unmistakably cyberpunk vibe.”
End of an Era: Room 77 in Berlin Closes Doors Permanently!— Jon Matonis (@jonmatonis) October 18, 2020
Blame it on Covid or blame it on gentrification. Either way, this Kreuzberg landmark has served as a Bitcoin watering hole for over 10 years, with thousands making the obligatory pilgrimage. Thx for the memories, Joerg! pic.twitter.com/Jf1RTMbVPh
Like many other establishments in the crypto space, Cyberian Mine chose Room 77 as the venue of its celebration following its successful 2018 funding round. Unlike other establishments that accepted crypto, the bar, located in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood, by all accounts offered a decidedly unspectacular visual and culinary experience.
What it lacked in pizzazz, however, it seems to have made up for with sheer first-mover advantage. Several thousand crypto community members from around the world specifically made it a point to stop by Room 77 when in Europe, simply to take part in its now-famous bitcoin payment ritual invented in 2011.
Mission accomplished: burger and beer purchased with bitcoin at Room 77 in Berlin. pic.twitter.com/WGdAGYyC— Arto Bendiken (@bendiken) November 9, 2012
Room 77’s Politics and Community
Apart from just being a crypto tourist attraction, Room 77 also served as a meeting point for people with similar beliefs, such as the growth of the crypto-sphere and rolling back censorship. In 2014, founder Platzer also became the author of “Bitcoin – kurz & gut” (Bitcoin in a nutshell), the first book about bitcoin to be written in German.
He also became the first person to carry out a Lightning Network transaction involving a physical good when it was used to buy beer at Room 77 in 2017.
What a beautiful statement:— Max Hunt
“The idea of bitcoin existed before bitcoin itself. So when it was finally created, I knew this was it. It did what the others before it did not.”
Joerg, founder of Room 77, Berlin
(@DeHuntisOn) December 27, 2019
At press time, it was unclear what Platzer’s future plans are following the shuttering of Room 77.