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René Schopf: My Vienna


René Schopf, founder of avant-garde concept store White Rabbit, is also a connoisseur of Vienna’s coolest haunts

Paulina Szmydke ,

Where were you born?
I was born in Judenburg, Styria, but I grew up in Graz and Vienna.

Where do you live?
In Vienna’s sixth district.

What’s best about your neighbourhood?
The proximity to Mariahilfer Strasse with all its shopping opportunities and small bars, as well as the restaurants and stores of the sixth district, which is now a perfect spot for art and design.

Which is your favourite street in Vienna?
There’s no single favourite but I mostly like the areas around Stephansplatz in the first district and Neubaugasse in the seventh district.

Which are your favourite Vienna shops?
I love to shop at Wolfensson on Habsburgergasse, which stocks lots of independent labels such as Julius, Rad Hourani and Boris Bidjan Saberi. Amicis is also one of my favourites and features brands such as Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Balmain. If I am in the second district area I love to go to Song, a very inspiring shop for me, with brands such as Dries Van Noten, AF Vandevorst, Adam Kimmel and Bernhard Willhelm.

Which are your favourite Vienna restaurants?
In the summer I go to Neni am Naschmarkt, I love their oriental style breakfast. For dinner I go to Sapa, a small Vietnamese restaurant on Lindengasse, or Motto am Fluss on Schwedenplatz.

Can you recommend any Austrian dishes to try?
I am a fan of tafelspitz [boiled beef] served with sauce and spinach, and Kardinalschnitte, a cake from the time of the Austrian empire.

Where do you go for a drink with friends?
We always go to Donau on Karl-Schweighofer-Gasse, a bar with a daily DJ programme playing mostly electro and techno.

Which places sum up Vienna for you?
The Stephansdom and the Riesenrad represent the city at its best. Also the famous Hofburg and Schloss Schönbrunn. Figlmüller and the typical Austrian Heuriger are the places for good Austrian food. Order a schnitzel at Figlmüller or a blunzn [sausage] with a slice of bread and fresh onions at a Heuriger, you will like it for sure.

Which do you think are the best museums in town? Definitely the newly rebuilt 21er Haus and the Mumok.

Which Viennese people do you most admire?
The guys from Bunny Lake – love their music and their style. And also Nuriel Molcho from Neni, he is a very inspiring person.

What can’t you live without?
My iPod. I need it every day to come down after working all day. Music inspires me. My favourite track at the moment is Blueberry Pancakes by Fink.

Any advice for visitors?
The Naschmarkt, the city centre, Brunnenmarkt in the 16th district, the sixth and seventh districts and Schönbrunn are must-sees. I love tradition!

Can you recommend a good hotel?
The Ring is one of my favourites. Also the recently opened Sofitel by Jean Nouvel is very interesting.

Tell us a secret.
I think I am the best-kept secret in town.

For more on René Schopf visit:
White Rabbit

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