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Bogen, the women’s bistrot in the heart of Bolzano

The interiors were designed by the South Tyrolean firm noa*

Bogen, in the heart of Bolzano, is the product of Roswitha Mayr’s determination and passion. When she decided to open a business to manage a bistro and five apartments, she had no experience or skills in the catering or hospitality sector. She told her story to Pantografo with great spontaneity. However, aware of this and spurred by the desire for the best, she surrounded herself with an experienced and efficient team that is making Bogen grow. Furthermore, at the outset she turned to a series of chefs to understand how to build a winning culinary proposal.

It all started in the home where her father-in-law was born, a house steeped in history and located along one of Bolzano’s oldest merchant streets. «In 2015 we renovated the two floors and started renting them to tourists – Roswitha told Pantografo. The business immediately took off and the guests felt very much at ease. The little restaurant on the other hand was always leased to third parties, and in recent years, even before the pandemic, was not very successful. One of the reasons was that it was small and dark. This saddened me, because Via Streiter is one of Bolzano’s most beautiful streets».

BOGEN bistrot, Bolzano. Project by: noa* network of architecture. (Foto: Alex Filz)

And thus, with great intuition and foresightedness, Roswither took back the space on the ground floor and decided to renovate it, turning to noa* network of architecture, one of the most renowned firms in South Tyrol, which is also particularly engaged in the field of design for the hospitality sector. Working in synergy with Roswitha, who has «innate manual and artistic skills» as the architects’ presentation reads, noa* designed a space that inspires vitality and poetry. The space, which in the nineteenth century was home to shoemakers, carpenters, draymen, wood and fruit merchants, is now a bistro, a place it is impossible not to be attracted to.

Like a warm and welcoming shell, the space offers a harmonious balance of memory and contemporary style.

BOGEN, bistrot, Bolzano. Project by: noa* network of architecture. (Foto: Alex Filz)

Under the ancient vaulted ceiling, which has now been refurbished, common areas, such as the space with the long central wood table in front of the kitchen block, alternate with more intimate areas, such as the ones designed in the niches on the sides of the restaurant. A cascade of leaves and dried flowers “rains” onto the central table, hanging from a metal grating supported by a wood frame reminiscent of a pergola, suggesting a bohemian atmosphere. «The flowery vault immediately became the focus of the interior design – explains Silvia Marzani of noa*. The baskets hanging upside down filled with dried flowers are a suggestive image that symbolises both caducity as well as the beauty of life as it flows». New-generation furniture with soft lines and pastel colours interact with wood chairs and tables that look slightly more traditional, while the wood flooring alternates with the greyish-beige granulated screed floor. The feeling one gets is of being in an original and fascinating space, yet with a snug and familiar domestic dimension.

In this friendly environment Roswith has chosen to work with a team consisting prevalently of women: Marion, who is responsible for the food, Greta, who works in the kitchen mainly developing vegan dishes, Elisabeth, the beer expert, Filomena, who makes an excellent parmesan which, though it is not a local dish, is one of the customers’ favourites, Tania, who makes everything shine both in the apartments and in the kitchen. Bogen is therefore a team of women, though it has chosen to leave space to two men: Edoardo the chef, who takes inspiration for his dishes from the seasons and nature, and Hannes, who is responsible for the bar and makes excellent cocktails.

In addition to savoury soups and rich salads, the menu includes dishes such as Beef tartare, Roast beef with potatoes, green sauce and zucchini, Pikeperch baked in parchment paper with cream of peppers, potato purée and herb breadcrumbs. Breakfast, Bogen’s strong point with its healthy natural dishes, also attracts outside customers, be they tourists who live elsewhere or locals who feel at home in the bistro. And when a place becomes a favourite of locals, that means the food is really good.

Cover @ BOGEN, bistrot, Bolzano. Project by: noa* network of architecture. (Foto: Alex Filz)


Translated by Olga Barmine

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