Ghost Bars The friendly ghosts of hospitality

A project by photographer Jochen Hirschfeld to support the bar community.

The pandemic hits the bar community extra hard. Many worked patiently without complaints to make ends meet. And as a bitter thank you they got another lock down here in Germany. And I know that it is not easy in other parts of the world too.

"As I walk through the lonely streets of my hood I see all the efforts that the bar community made to create safe gathering spaces. But now I see a lot of ghost towns.", Jochen Hirschfeld

The friendly ghosts of hospitality

To help these friendly ghost of hospitality and to make the visible I am starting a two step photo project.

Part I: Portrait series of ghost bars and their kind ghosts

Wolfgang Goetz - Zum Wolf Bar, Munich

The photos are capturing a critical moment of fragility. For many it is existential. They sacrifice a lot to ensure our well being. The ones I know are all fighters and don't complain ... but that is no reason to ignore their misery and let them fade. If they go it will hurt us too. We need these magical places of hospitality where we are welcomed with a smile and where we bond as human beings. Let's keep these ghosts alive.

Bild Fehn - Jaded Monkey, Munich

Part II: The magic ghost menu

Magical Cocktails made by ghosts

At the moment these spiritual creatures are not allowed to enter our world but they still have all their alchemistic talents to brighten our daily pandemic boredom. So I wondered how cocktail bars could generate some income and how I could help. The idea is to create personal cocktail creations that carries your name. Maybe you dreamt too of having your own signature cocktail recipe.

A ghostly cocktail creation just for you.

So now you can support our local bar by commissioning a bespoke cocktail. It will be tailored to your preferences and tastes. It can spring from your favorite spirit, a movie that you love or just a line of poetry.

From your favourite bar (For example: Pacific Times, Munich)

Together with your favorite bar we will capture your creation in a stunning photo which will enter the social media hall of fame on our „Magic Ghost Menu“. This support has to have some weight to be helpful. It costs 500$ ... that is a lot and not many of us can afford it … but the ones who can will really support their home bar AND get something that money can not buy. The money goes straight to the bar.

Magical recipes can be rise from all kind of inspirations.
Your personal Signature-Cocktail // Sample photos.

500$ is a steep price tag but on the other hand it really helps. It could also be something for a group of friends who do it together. The amount of 500$ did prove to be the right amount in the meantime as we have over 100 ghost cocktails already. Many spirit companies joined in and are supporting the project. (For private cocktail lovers supporting their favourite bar photographers are shooting the cocktails for free. In case of a company ordering a ghost cocktail we think it is fair to also pay something to the photographers helping with this project.)

After the pandemic, once the ghosts have been resurrected, these creations of the ghost menu will live on and remind us of these special times.

Over 100 Ghost Cocktails have been commissioned already.

The project ist already very successful and it is growing further. It started locally here in Munich, Germany but it can make its way around the globe. It is an open source project. All bars and more photographers are welcomed to join in.

Full page newspaper article on the ghost bars project. Münchner Abendzeitung 12/12/2020
Flow chart "Who can do what"

The Spirits that I've summoned…are now awake. Please write us…

  • if your a bar ghost who wants to join us.
  • if you are a photographer who wants to help our ghosts.
  • if you always dreamt of owning your personal cocktail.
  • if you would like to support us.
Created By
Jochen Hirschfeld