Summerstage

By Roßauer Lände, this stretch offers food, drink, fun & music

It could be said about the Viennese that the one thing they enjoy more than wining and dining with pleasant company would be doing the same outdoors. Even in the dead of winter, they seem to love standing around in the cold, with nothing save a warm mug of something strong.

Now, at last, winter is over, and another seasonal epicurean distraction is here to titillate the crowds: Summerstage.

The nighttime mood among the eateries is laid-back, with plenty of variety | Photo: pancho.at

The nighttime mood among the eateries is laid-back, with plenty of variety | Photo: pancho.at

 

All the world’s a stage…

Exiting Roßauer Lände station on the U4 you emerge on a stretch of the leafy banks of the Danube canal, transformed into a culinary boardwalk. Right behind the welcome sign is a bouncer-guarded wine bar, the wiener weinpavillon; followed by long lines of wooden tables with red and yellow candles, all huddled under a yellow tarpaulin roof on steel girders.

Altogether primitive-posh, whatever that means. Satellites of in-town restaurants and bars offer an eclectic selection, some of them quite elaborate: pizzeria riva even installed a ceramic domed pizza oven, decorated in blue and white mosaic. Further down by the water’s edge, the summerstage terrace/pavilion feels like an ancient bark billowing with sponsor’s banners flapping in the wind.

And for non-consumable entertainment, Summerstage also boasts a sculpture garden, a beach volleyball court, boule lanes and a trampoline with child supervision provided on weekends, as well as a small stage for events.

 

And all the men and women merely players…

Such a scene can prove irresistible. Aside from dating couples revelling in the romance of starry skies, candlelight and Pina Coladas at the Mexican mainstay pancho, the after-work crowd at morton’s bar & grill has also taken a shine to Summerstage.

Water cooler gossip gently wafts throughout the premises, a subtle yet constant reminder of the many office buildings straddling both sides of the canal. Students find their way to Indus from the sprawling university nearby, but upscale prices (and the proximity to Flex and the Badeschiff) keep their numbers modest.

Adjacent to the new casa caribena, the city’s first Caribbean restaurant, there always seems to be a quorum for the volleyball court, where sweaty amateurs bathe in the sidewalk attention.

 

They have their exits and their entrances …

That is ultimately the name of the game at Summerstage; see and be seen. English expat James Cottriall, a singer-songwriter of some success in the Austrian Charts, took the stage on opening night, and while the patrons listened and applauded politely, they remained largely occupied with each other. Cottriall took it in stride, perhaps instinctively realising the crowd was there for another reason. And it wasn’t the sizzling satay skewers from echo – der city thai.

While Summerstage may appear to be a mere food court de luxe, it is far more. Keeping with the old adage that after food and drink one must still feed the soul, both are welcome excuses to engage in diversions more intriguing even than music: the company of others.

And for this impromptu communal theatre, Summerstage is the perfect set. And perhaps too much so, as swarms of uninvited, bloodsucking fiends patronise it in late summer, when it seems more like the Mosquito Coast than the Danube Canal.

 

Summerstage

9., U4 station Roßauer Lände

Open 6 May till late September

Mon-Sat 17:00-01:00; Sun 15:00-01:00

www.summerstage.at

 

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