Aaron Rose’s art bar is now officially touring the globe after a kick-off party that lasted 4 nights in Los Angeles. As the energy of Berlin’s nightlife fueled the idea behind La Rosa, it made sense for Aaron to open it there. We documented the birth of our favorite cultural time machine, or, as Aaron puts it, “the exchange program,” that keeps pollinating its own aesthetics—Wes Lang, Cheryl Dunn, Barry McGee, among others. We asked Aaron a few questions while he was ramping up for the opening.

Why and how are you taking La Rosa to Berlin?

The first ideas for starting La Rosa Social Club came from conversations with my gallerist and partner Johann Van Lanzenauer and I had in Berlin about how fun it would be to have a bar there. For that reason alone it makes perfect sense to bring La Rosa to that city. Berlin is fantastic for nightlife and it has a wonderful freeform energy for how it approaches it. There are young kids all over the city who are essentially renting a space, putting in some folding tables, milk crates and a sound system and opening great bars. I wanted to be part of that energy.

“Berlin is fantastic for nightlife and it has a wonderful freeform energy for how it approaches it.”

Is the install in Berlin going to be very different from the LA one?

Due to the location and the architecture of the space in Berlin, certain changes will have to be made, but I’m hoping to maintain the same energy. The large photo-murals will travel and be re-installed in Berlin, but most of the fine art that were exhibited in Los Angeles won’t travel. This has mostly to do with costs of shipping expensive works of art around the world, but we will add new elements in Berlin that hopefully make up for that. We are figuring out the musical elements now, but we are expecting to have unique performances each night, plus, because of the more lenient laws in Berlin we can stay open until the morning which is fantastic!

Do you expect the audience in Berlin to react and interact very differently from the LA audience?

I try not to have expectations about my audiences. All we can do is make the coolest place possible with really good energy and then hope that people are receptive to that. As far as I know there’s nothing quite like La Rosa in Berlin so I’m expecting that people will consider it a fresh surprise.

La Rosa happened during the LAABF in Los Angeles. Any particular cultural context this time in Berlin?

We are opening during Berlin Gallery Week, when all of the cool galleries open their new shows. There are a lot of international artists in the city at that time and a lot of excitement around the arts in general. 

“Is La Rosa a cultural time machine? Maybe? I think of it more as an exchange program.”

Are you taking La Rosa to another country afterwards?

We’ve had an offer to bring it to Sydney later this year and we’re considering that. There has also been talk of Hong Kong. At the moment I’m just looking forward to Berlin and once we’ve gotten though that we can get over our hangovers and look at next steps.

Is La Rosa a cultural time machine?

Maybe? I think of it more as an exchange program. The best ideas between creative people are always hatched at 3:30 in the morning after too many beers.