For most people, every city has a hidden gem that’s below the radar for most but something legendary and a piece of history for others. When traveling to Köln Germany, for me that gem is Metronom, an intimate Jazz record bar that serves up great drinks with an amazing soundtrack in the background. Opened since the 1960’s and the perfect size for a simple two-man operation, you’ll get an experience not easily found in other places with the exception of maybe Japan. The concept is simple, the owner who is a heavy music lover pulls Jazz vinyl from the collection situated tightly behind the bar and on the back walls while he and the bartender serve drinks to locals and tourists alike while they soak in a bit of culture. You’ll never know what will hit the deck next but it could be anything ranging from Blue Note to Verve and the warm vinyl sounds come through perfectly on the simple, yet effective Hi-Fi system that sounds better than most other systems found in bars of equal size. While enjoying drinks and people watching, you can’t help but to feel the history of Metronom and it’s obvious that nothing has been changed or updated since it’s very beginnings. The faint smell of smoke and yellowing of the walls where vintage black and white photos and Jazz art hang takes you back to an era where cigarettes and drinks went hand in hand and only adds to the authenticity experience of where many Jazz greats would hang when in town playing gigs.
Being that Metronom is intimate and seats only approximately 20 people with room for another 10 or so standing, I recommend going with as few people as possible which would be much easier if you’re looking to get a table or booth. The plus side to it being on the small side is you’ll most likely find yourself mingling with other patrons of all ages which is great especially if you’re not from the city and you want to find out tips that only the locals know. If you’re into Jazz, great drinks and an amazing time, then I highly recommend checking out Metronom.