“Not the tenth burger shop or the 1000th bowl”: this department store in Munich is going to be special

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Written By Maya Cantina

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Munich – It’s still hammering and drilling in every nook and cranny. Tools and furniture parts are lying around and during the conversation the glaziers who have to install the new glass facade on the street side are suddenly greeted in a friendly manner.

This is what it currently looks like in the building at Klenzestraße 1 in Glockenbach. Here, Café Kosmos owner Florian Schönhofer opened the Großenwahn department store in June together with his two colleagues Zita Gustav Wende and Nikolaus Keller. There is still a lot to do and that is why the three of them do not want to commit to the opening date of June 1.

Department store Megalomanie will open in June: every resident of Munich can sell something here

But what will be for sale in this special kind of department store is already clear: “These are banal terms, but it will be regional, local and sustainable,” says artist and set designer Nikolaus Keller. The idea is that everyone can sell their stuff here: crafts, food, especially homemade stuff. It must be as original as possible.

Unlike other stores where you can rent shelves for your things, the pieces here must be presented in a special way: “Always with a good story and beautifully presented,” says Keller. An example of how you might imagine this? “At one point my girlfriend thought about making paper cutouts,” says Keller. Now she can do it very well. “There’s nothing like it anywhere else.”

Schönhofer adds: “It’s about realizing yourself and showing people something,” he says. “What good is it if you’re good at something and you only do it at home?” Therefore, it initially costs the seller nothing. Only a 30 percent commission goes to the ‘delusions of grandeur’ makers on the sales. Only in exceptional cases may the documents cost more than 50 euros according to the plan.

The innkeeper of Café Kosmos also plans to organize catering in the Großenwahn department store

In addition to the sales part, a catering facility is of course also planned, as usual from Kosmos with affordable prices. And even that is not mandatory: “You have to go here without being forced to consume,” says Schönhofer. “You can also drink some tap water and leave immediately, that’s cool too.”

The Megalomania department store is also a small declaration of war, especially at this location: ‘It shouldn’t be the tenth burger shop or the thousandth bowl’: ‘It’s that you get lost here on a Saturday with your family and then maybe the guy there makes woodcuts and show it,” says Schönhofer.

With this he focuses on the third pillar of ‘delusions of grandeur’: the events. Theater director Zita Gustav Wende is responsible for this. Besides people selling their stuff and talking about it, there are also workshops and small concerts. Clown workshops are also being considered, “for the children in the afternoon, when daycare is over and the parents don’t know where to go.”

In Munich’s Klenzestrasse in 2022, four cars burned out completely and damaged the building

The fact that this is even possible is because it involves an intermediate use. It should last at least two years; it is not yet clear what will happen to the house, says Schönhofer. In November 2022, the house at Klenzestraße 1 made headlines because four cars in front of it completely burned out and also hit the building. The three of them are now working on the necessary renovation themselves.

In November 2023, four cars burned out here in the middle of the night.
In November 2023, four cars burned out here in the middle of the night.
© private
In November 2023, four cars burned out here in the middle of the night.

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The name “Kaufhaus Großenwahn” was not chosen by chance: very close by, at Klenzestraße 43, in the 1970s and 1980s was the Tanzcafé Großenwahn, a legendary club from Munich that was known far beyond the city limits. This in turn was a reference to a 19th-century Café Megalomania that poets like Rilke liked to frequent. Coffee was also affordable there for less prosperous artists.

This new department store must also be accessible with low prices and open. The ‘delusions of grandeur’ will start in June. It is open to everyone from Monday to Saturday between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., even those who do not want to buy anything.


More information at kaufhausgroessenwahn.de



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