A mere two months ago, OnMilwaukee toured the heavily-under-construction Bavarian Bierhaus, which was the former Bavarian Inn, 700 W. Lexington Blvd. Yesterday, we visited again and were stunned by the transformation.
The massive indoor-outdoor German dining complex opens to the public on Tuesday, April 26 and will host soft openings this weekend. The building houses a large dining hall that seats 350 people "European style," meaning families and couples share long, rectangular tables.
"We’re bringing people together in this room to have a good time," says Daniel Vanek, the Bavarian Bierhaus server manager. "We’re confident that after a couple of beers, everyone will get to know each other."
Bavarian Bierhaus will produce 200,000 gallons of house-brewed beer every year, with eight of them available on draft along with four "guest beers" and a full bar. The brew tanks, and the brewmasters, are on an open second story that allows guests to observe the process.
A German-style live band will play every afternoon and evening, seven days a week, in the dining hall. A large mural of Munich serves as an attractive visual and provides soundproofing, so guests dining in the room next door, the Gambrinus room, can enjoy a mellower vibe. Gambrinus is a legendary, fictitious Patron Saint of Beer who represents beer, brewing and good times.
"This is where you might take grandma and grandpa for a nice German dinner," says Vanek. "It’s a quieter dining experience, as opposed to the dining hall that’s going to be like Oktoberfest every night."
There’s also a tap room / bar with numerous flat screen TVs for game watching. The tap room will also serve as an overflow spot on busy nights. An outdoor patio and beer garden will provide full food and drink service and host a variety of festival-like events.
"Our beer garden is the largest in the country," says Vanek.
Soon, an illuminated, rotating, eight-foot beer stein will also be outside and visible from the freeway.
The Bavarian Bierhaus will be open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 11 am. to 2:30 a.m. A full menu will be available every night until last call.
Here are 13 photos of the Bavarian Bierhaus. Prost, prost and more prost!
1. Get ready to make new friends who love beer as much as you do
2. This. Now.
3. Hello, Hefeweizen!
4. Can you already hear the chicken dance?
5. History in glass form
6. Munich mural
7. Bacon bits are for amateurs
8. 200,000 barrels a year!
9. These dragons breath wood, not fire
10. All toast the king!
11. Restored to grandeur
12. More dragon friends
13. A matter of perspective
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.