The real draw of Bemelmans isn’t the drinks, or the varied bar snacks, or even the intricate murals patterning all the walls—it’s the people.
There is a German word for longing: sehnsucht. It is a homesickness for a country you have never visited, a love for somebody you’ve never met. It is a yearning without an object, and so without an end. It’s the vague, elegiac melancholy you find in Viennese writers like Zweig or Roth, missing the Vienna Before the War.