The Hofbrauhaus Cleveland marks the reversal of a trend capped off by the closing of the Hofbrau Haus, a Cleveland institution throughout the 20th century, known for its ethnic food. (Plain Dealer file photo)
Affiliated with the original Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany, HofBrauhaus Cleveland is the next American franchise to be opened. In an article written by John Petkovic of The Plain Dealer, he explains the soon to be Hofbrauhaus of Cleveland.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — As Clevelanders get ready to ring in Oktoberfest, a massive new addition to the downtown nightlife scene is preparing a year-round Bavarian party.
Hofbrauhaus Cleveland is shooting for a September 23 “soft” opening, followed by a keg tapping to mark the grand opening on October 22.
The 24,000-square-foot entertainment venue — located on Chester Avenue between Playhouse Square and the Greyhound Bus Station – is affiliated with the original Hofbrauhaus. You know, the place in Bavaria founded by the beer-guzzling Wilhelm V, in 1589.
The Cleveland restaurant will brew and sell Hofbrau beer and includes three floors and a number of rooms, the most prominent being the 450-seat beer hall and the 1,000 seat beer garden.
As they say, Leben ist sehr gut in einem Biergarten.
Yes, the theme is a Bavarian party, complete with servers in dirndl and lederhosen outfits and hearty food. But Hofbrauhaus will be trying to capture the vibe as well.
“We’ll have large tables here and communal seating so you can meet new people and make new friends and sing along together,” says marketing and sales manager Andrea Mueller, standing in the middle of the soon-to-be beer hall. “That’s really a European approach we’re trying to bring to the place.”
In a matter of weeks, she could find herself singing along to her father, Reiner Mueller, who plays trumpet in Deutsche Musik Verein. Hofbrauhaus will host German bands many days.
“My dad is really excited to play here and proud that I’m working here,” says Andrea Mueller. “I never thought it would take working in a beer hall to make him proud – but to a lot of German people this place is a source of pride and a landmark.”
It’s no surprise. This Hofbrauhaus marks a reversal in a movement that was capped off with the death of the old Hofbrau Haus. The latter – a restaurant and gathering place on East 55th Street — was a landmark for most of the 20th century.
It was eye-catching with its fake stone castle facade, adorned with coats of arms. It was also a magnet for European immigrants, who would come for the food. The place closed for good in 2000 – a victim of ethnics leaving the city for the suburbs.
“We’re hoping to bring these people back to the city,” says Mueller, a Cleveland native and German-American who grew up speaking German. “My grandmother and her friends can’t wait to come down and check this out – so we’re working on buses for church and social groups.”
It will also give Clevelanders a chance to check a little-known gem known as the Hermit Club. The 110-year old Tudor-style building will be used as part of the Hofbrauhaus – including a beautiful performance room that will play host to 120-160 people.
“The look of the Hermit Club is a natural fit with the Hofbrauhaus,” says Mueller. “It’s an opportunity to show this beautiful space off to Clevelanders who never knew about it.”
But first, there is work to do – a lot of it.
Hofbrauhaus Cleveland, which plans to employ 220, is hiring servers, bussers, cooks and expeditors (for employment info, go to hofbrauhauscleveland.com).
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So get ready for some delicious bavarian food, drinks and music coming to Cleveland September 23rd!
*This article was brought to you by Landmark RE Management luxury lofts of Cleveland, Ohio.