|Founded||January 15, 2008|
|Services||Bar, Café including the bookstore SAMTLEBEN & Guggenheim|
The Café Leonar is a café, bar and bookstore (selling fiction, non fiction and Judaica) in Hamburg, Germany, founded by Sonia Simmenauer. It is the first Jewish café in Hamburg since pre-war times, and serves kosher pastries as well as Jewish specialities. It opened its doors on the 15 January 2008 in the old Jewish part of Hamburg called the Grindel.
The Jewish population is growing slowly but steadily in Hamburg, and in all of Germany. The people of Hamburg are taking more and more interest in the history of the Grindelviertel, the former center of the Jewish community. At the time of the Nazi takeover, as many as 5,000 Jews lived in the Grindel district, and it is home to many of the 4,000 Jews that live in Hamburg today. It is also the site of the Talmud Thora School, founded as a school for the poor at the start of the nineteenth century. It was forcefully closed down by the Nazis in 1942. Since then, there has been increasing demand for a revitalisation of the Jewish community in Grindel.
History of Café Leonar
Until 1938, Sonia Simmenauer's grandfather Leonhart and his partner Arndt owned a factory in Wandsbek, Hamburg. From the names of these two men came their factory's name, Leonar. It was the previous owner of the building who gave Simmenauer brochures of the factory from 1927 and 1929 with the words: "Leonar, a nice name for a café."
The café serves traditional kosher meals which had been vanishing from restaurant menus, and also hosts a bookstore and a 'Jewish salon', holding lectures, concerts, and workshops.