Yesterday Lok6, the new restaurant by Julia Heifer and Tobias Wallenstein, opened its doors at Am Lokdepot. We met the co-founder for a short interview
Julia Heifer is our favorite chef – we left our last two Christmas dinners completely completely in her talented hands. Her career was so exciting to watch, a pure passion for good food that let her dare the path of lateral entry: From her start in the Dóttir restaurant, to the Olafur Eliasson canteen, and now with very own restaurant, the Lok6. It was with great pleasure that we asked her a few questions about her project:
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How did you get the idea to open Lok6?
Even as a kid, I had an obsession that at some point I would open a bed and breakfast. I have always loved hosting and cooking for people and it makes me happy. Very concretely, the Lok6 came about through a great property: My friend Inga Krieger learned about an empty shop front through Miriam Stein (who lives in the building) and enthusiastically told me about it straightaway. When we viewed it in January, it became clear pretty fast that I had to do something there. The concept developed really fast then – certainly I brought in a lot of ideas that had been lying dormant in the back of my mind for a while already.
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What is your concept? What’s going to be on the menu?
We’re currently open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 12 noon until 9pm. During the week we offer a changing lunch menu, which is then replaced by brunch on Saturday. Then from 5pm on there are snacks and small dishes on the “pre-dinner” menu. At the moment, that menu includes burrata with peas and lemon, roast beef with salsa verde, and Beelitz asparagus with rye and egg on top.
On the whole, all of the dishes are built as much as possible on vegetables. Meat and fish are only on the menu if they’re good quality!
The area around Lokdepot is not yet highly developed and we’ve already received positive feedback from the neighbors even before the opening. A nice place where you can make an uncomplicated café stop or eat lunch, or linger in the sun in the afternoon – it seems like most of them have been yearning for it.
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How much of a role does the location play?
The location convinced me on the spot! The red exposed concrete, the large window front, and the location directly next to Park am Gleisdreieck – I walk to work from the U-Bahn station in the morning through the green! – it’s all hard to top. Moreover, with a good 20 seats, the shop was the perfect size to open your first restaurant in. From the kitchen, I can look directly out over the train platforms and into the green of the park and the light just before sundown gives the feeling of being on vacation. The location totally slows things down – you feel a bit like you’re in the south.
What are you hoping for over the next 12 months?
We hope that the residents of the Lokdepot and our guests will happily come by and that we can make them happy with our offerings. As a team, we want to keep growing and hope that luck stays on our side.
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About the two self-starters behind Lok6:
Julia Heifer (29) trained as a fashion designer and stylist and decided at the end of 2015 – and after a few years in the Berlin fashion industry – to change her path to gastronomy. After her time working as a cook at the Dóttir restaurant and a pop-up event in Hong Kong, she then went on to work in artist Olafur Eliasson’s studio kitchen in Berlin.
Tobias Wallenstein (25) trained in event management and is the manager of Lok6. He interrupted his career path in 2015 for an extensive world tour that brought him closer the culinary diversity of South East Asia and India. Before returning to Berlin, he made a stop in Australia where he worked at, among other restaurants, the Lagoon Seafood Restaurant in Wollongong.
Am Lokdepot 6
Tuesday through Saturday
12 noon – 9pm
U- and S-bahn station: S1 Julius-Leber Brücke, S2 & S25 Yorckstraße, U6 Platz-der-Luftbrücke
Instagram: @lok6_restaurant | @julescache
Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.
Updates about her next professional steps can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliaknolle/.