Only in Europe
German city bankrolls bar for unemployed alcoholics:
The Sofa looks like any Eckkneipe, the small corner pubs with a working-class clientele that dot German cities, and about the same amount of alcohol is consumed here. It has roughly 70 regulars, aged from 18 to 70, football pennants hang on the walls, and a TV set above the bar, on the left side, is always on — but usually with the sound turned down. However, there is one critical difference between the Sofa and other bars.
In this bar, some of the costs are covered by taxpayer money from the city treasury. The Sofa is Germany’s first drinking room, a sort of crash smoking room for alcoholics. Most of the people who frequent the place are serious alcoholics and are allowed to bring their own cheap beer and sangria. The bar itself only serves soft drinks and strong coffee. “It’s great,” says Dirk, twisting his tattooed face into a smile, “isn’t it?”