German Of The Day: Späti

That means the late-night stores of Berlin. And we should have smelled this rat coming long ago.

Späti

How could these popular local convenience stores be allowed to continue running without being inconvenienced by the Berlin city government? They were allowed to open when they saw fit, depending entirely on supply and demand. You know, like in capitalism? Spätis are one of the few things that actually work in this town, by the way. Obviously, somebody had to step in here. Spätis are crying out for government regulation – for our own good.

Since a May ruling by the Administrative Court of Berlin, city authorities have fastidiously targeted family-run convenience stores such as Abels’ if they’re open on Sundays. The crackdown is part of a broader debate that’s erupting over the future of these stores — known as Spätis — that have over the decades emerged as cultural symbols of Berlin.

“Spätis are to Berlin like cafés are to Paris. It’s where all forms of life come together.”