Tuesday 15th April 2014
The Affentor Schänke is located in a remarkable position in that it is located between an apfelweinhaus and another making it one of three consecutive cider houses in this small street. What’s more, these are only one more property from yet another! The street is named Neuer Wall, meaning new wall. This refers to the old city wall and the adjacent gate that pierced it was the Affentor, hence the name of the pub. The Schänke part of its title means it is a tavern or tap room.
The gate referred to was built in the 14th century and was destroyed in 1809. As this was during Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of the German-speaking states, I guess it fell during that conflict. It is thought that the gate’s name is a corruption of Ave Maria Tor. This was because there were vineyards and sheep pastures outside of the wall and it is believed that the shepherds and smallholders made a blessing as they left the city to tend to their livelihoods as there were many thieves living in the countryside.
Later the name corrupted to Affen which is the word for monkeys, thus it became the monkey gate. The origin of the tavern predates the destruction of the gate as it the first record of it was in 1760. Maybe not showing that much antiquity inside it is obviously very old.
On entering I first noticed that this was a narrow pub that extended some way. The first “room” has some beautiful old varnished wood panelling to mid height. The varnished wooden tables and chairs are mostly located on the right side. There is a small standing area on the left with shelves on the wall and some stools and tall tables which precedes the bar itself. The bar back is quite nice being made of carved wood.
There are photographs and prints of old Sachsenhausen on the wall to the right and further along there are the ends of some wooden barrels with paintings depicting the pub.
Next I came across the middle section of the pub that has full height wooden panelling to the ceiling and this is followed by a section at the rear of the pub and this is decorated in a more contemporary style. The furniture is more casual here and there is an old bus stop on which the location name has been replaced by that of the pub.
Their cider comes from Kelterei Herbert and is named Geiselbacher Gold as their orchards and press are located in Geiselbach, a village to the east of the town of Hanau which itself is 25 kms from Frankfurt. It is unfiltered and naturally cloudy. They also sell Bitburger beer on draught.
There is a full menu that contains all the Frankfurt specialities including the sausages for which the city has become famous, yet here they are the real thing, not a poor imitation. They specialise in various types of schnitzel and dishes involving green sauce (Grüne Sosse), a local favourite. What’s not to like.
Affentor Schänke, Neuer Wall 9, Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen. Tel: 069 627575
Open: Monday-Sunday 11.30-24.00
To get to the pub the nearest access is the Affentor stop on bus routes 30 and 36.
The tram stop for routes 15 and 16 is at Dreieichstrasse/Lokalbahnhof about 250 metres away.
The station of Lokalbahnhof is around 500 metres to walk to and this is served by S-Bahn lines S2-S6.