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Travel & Nightlife

Gay Europe: Ken Koch

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Nightlife entrepreneur Ken Koch talks about Munich.

Ken Koch is the owner and operator of Munich's most popular gay club, NY.Club. When he is not organizing weekend parties and events, he makes sure to keep a pulse on all-things-cool in the city. Take notes from Ken before enjoying everything Munich has to offer.

Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Southern Bavaria, in a very small town surrounded by lots of farms.

Have you lived elsewhere?
Oh, yes. I have spent a lot of time in various countries while I was working for a big travel company, like three months in Israel, three months in Egypt, five weeks in Iran, 10 weeks in Russia. And for over 15 years I have worked in different parts of the US and Canada.

Now you operate NY.Club, one of the most popular gay nightclubs in Munich.
Yes, NY.Club is recognized worldwide as the best, trendiest gay nightclub in Munich. It has two different areas inside: a beautifully designed lounge and a spacious dance area with a high tech sound and lighting system. There is plenty of room to dance.

What's the vibe like at the club? Any favorite nights?
We are only open on Fridays and Saturdays (and before public holidays). On Fridays, the extremely popular LUXUSPOP-Party attracts a mostly younger crowd and features international pop music. Saturdays are different, because the audience is a bit more mature, more like the people going to circuit parties. Every Saturday house music is played by international top DJs known from Matinee, Rapido, Red & Blue, SuperMartXe, La Demence, Salvation, and other circuit parties.

Is there a gay neighborhood in Munich? What's the vibe like there?
Yes there is, or better, there was. It is called "Glockenbachviertel". This area is next to the city center and became very popular with young professional straight people in the last few years. Therefore more and more people from the gay community couldn't afford to live there. I remember a time when we had four gay clubs -- now the NY.Club is the only permanent gay club left.

Where are your favorite places to eat, drink, shop, etc. in Munich?
I love Italian food. There is an excellent restaurant called Nabucco next to where I live in Northern Schwabing. In the summertime, I love to go to one of our famous biergartens, like the one next to the Chinese tower in the center of the Englischer Garten. When I shop for clothing I prefer a store called Wormland, which carries all major labels and smaller upcoming designers, as well. It's right across from City Hall.

Describe your perfect day in Munich.
First, a late breakfast on my terrace. After that, I'd go to the city center for some window shopping. I'd have some ice cream on the way and take a coffee break later at the Cafe Tambosi at the Hofgarten-Park. Next, I'd go on a beautiful walk in Englischer Garten. Then an early dinner at Tarullo's, a great place for pizza and pasta, near Sendlinger Tor-Place, and drinks at the nearby Cafe Cord (near NY.Club).

Any must-dos in Munich that you didn't mention?
If there is enough time, go visit the countryside and the Kings Castles (Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau, Schloss Linderhof). They're absolutely magical and where I grew up!

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