A heavy loss has been suffered by the Amalienpassage suffered this summer. Friedrich Wilhelm Klemens - called Willy - Strakerjahn, one of the first apartment owners in the Passage, died this summer at the ripe old age of 85. It is important for us to write a few lines about Willy, because he was always positive towards us and enthusiastically supported our work.
Always positive, much like the legendary building contractor Fritz Eichbauer, to whom it is largely due that this special building project in Munich exists today, Willy was always positive towards our restaurant and supported our commitment to the Passage with strong, clear words. Just like the Munich entrepreneur, Willy was a doer and one who had already seen a lot of the world.
In doing so, he was never undifferentiated - he knew very well what he wanted to support and why. As an owner from the very beginning, he knew the Amalienpassage over many generations and knew that the property had to appear well-kept but be attractive when revitalized. He was concerned that the public area of the Passage (often littered with bicycles) be well-maintained and that the ground-floor stores be lively and well-attended.
No wonder, because Willy Strakerjahn was himself a successful restaurateur in his hometown of Lippstadt before his life as a spry retiree (as we had come to know him):
Together with his first wife Irene, he had run various cafés and bistros there for many years: first the parental "Café Strakerjahn," the renowned large café in the main shopping street called the "Ratscafe," then the "Bistro Journal" and the "Strandcafe" at Lake Margareten were added. Most recently, he took over the "Strandkorb" on the North Sea island of Juist.
It all started with an apprenticeship as a master confectioner in 1950 in Essen and in Cologne to take over his parents' business. He did this with ambition and success, becoming the youngest master confectioner in NRW at the time.
When Willy visited Munich for the Olympic Games, he was so enthusiastic about the city and the spirit of the friendly, colorful games at the time that he became one of the first buyers of condominiums in the Amalienpassage. And ultimately, the Passage also reflects exactly this spirit from the colorful 70s, with the award-winning and ingenious color concept by Eva Gagern-Hübsch, which allows typical colors of the time such as yellow, orange, blue in various shades to please the eye.
In his hometown of Lippstadt, Willy Strakerjahn was involved and well-known in many ways, musically, athletically, in business and socially. And even in his last years, when walking became increasingly difficult, he made it a point to come to Munich as often as possible.
Again and again he visited our boss in the restaurant sansaro, with his refreshing, lively, young-at-heart manner asked how business was going and what the mood in the passage was like. In our efforts to keep the Amalienpassage alive and well, he has always clearly supported us in the circle of owners.
At Willy's side his later companion and wonderful childhood sweetheart Erika, who kept in touch with us even during the times when Willy could not come to Munich.
Sometimes it happens so fast that you can hardly believe it.
Especially in the case of Willy Strakerjahn it was hard to believe, because his energy, his presence, his alert mind was such until our last meeting that one would not have believed him to have passed away for a long time.
Willy Strakerjahn passed away on June 20, 2020, reportedly falling asleep peacefully.
He was remembered in a big celebration in his hometown and we want to keep him in our hearts with this blog post.