Konditorei Café Rommel Konfiserie, Erfurt
3 Comments on “Konditorei Café Rommel Konfiserie, Erfurt”
Should this entry be tagged with Radium, the original metal typeface released by Ludwig & Mayer around 1905? Or rather with Charleston, the name of Hubertus Carl Frey’s reworking of the bold weight from 1967? It all comes down to when this sign was made. It might predate Charleston: Café Rommel was established in 1912, taking pride in being Erfurt’s “oldest Viennese coffee house”. In any case, the sign is not a direct use of a font, but represents a case of lettering derived from typeface, with custom small caps and an upside-down C.
Marcus Tanner mentions this place in his 1990 book Ticket to Latvia: a journey from Berlin to the Baltic:
The Cafe Rommel in Leninstrasse, Erfurt, was the most delightful afternoon establishment I found in East Germany. Leninstrasse was not, as its name suggested, a five-lane boulevard lined with Stalinist monuments, but a dear little half-timbered avenue in the historic centre of Erfurt and which in England would have rejoiced under the name ‘Duck Lane’ or ‘The Shambles’, but which the East German authorities had renamed Leninstrasse in a fit of misguided doctrinal enthusiasm. Nothing appeared to have altered in the dark waxed wooden interior of the Cafe Rommel for at least forty years, neither the old till, nor the large wooden wireless which burbled inconsequentially and soothingly in the background, nor indeed the old waitress in starched hat and pinny going calmly about her business.
After the end of the GDR in 1990, the street got back its old name, Johannesstraße.
I was wondering whether the Radium had that A with a curvy crossbar in the bold weight, for in the regular weight that is definitely straight according to the picture of the specimen sheet I have.
I have no specimen sheet of the bold weight, so in Radium FG bold I used the curvy one that is in Hace Frey’s Charleston, since I liked that better.
Should there be a straight crossbar in Radium bold this would definitely Charleston.
A-ha! That’s a good pointer, thank you, Andreas. I don’t have a specimen for the bold weight either. But there’s an A included in the in-use example for Sulima Cigaretten … and it has a straight bar! I can’t rule out the possibility that there was an alternate in the metal original, but I think it’s unlikely. It looks like the Café Rommel sign is based on Charleston then, which means it can’t be older than from 1967.