It Just might work: A bit of Bavaria — we need a biergarten


Anthony Harrisonby Anthony Harrison

When I went to New York City over Christmas, I noticed a lot of things I’d like to see in the Triad.

Subways and trains are pretty great in my opinion, but Clarey recently covered the idea of a commuter train in a previous IJMW.

The revolving rooftop restaurant at the Atrium Marriott in Times Square was pretty sweet, but we don’t have the space or the skylines impressive enough for anything like that to be feasible – unless you’re down, Winston-Salem.

And, sadly, there’s no way we can have a really awesome beer garden like where I met Clarey on Christmas Eve.

Oh, wait…why don’t we have a really awesome beer garden?

I’m not talking about a place where you can buy beer and sit outside. That’s called “every single bar anywhere.” No; a biergarten is special.

For one thing, I’m not talking about a patio. I’m talking a place the size of a small park, filled with umbrella-ed picnic tables lined up in rows, with outdoor serving stations and brat stands. Kind of like the Greensboro Greek Festival, except year-round.

Secondly, the German aspect of this hypothetical biergarten remains essential.

The beers themselves would be German specialties: Bitberger, Paulaner, Radeberger, Spaten – hell, even Beck’s for the less adventurous. And the food must be German: Brats (of course), schnitzel, pretzels, roasted meats and sandwiches served on pumpernickel, sourdough and rye. The jury is still out on whether servers must wear lederhosen and dirndls.

Naturally, with any proposal such as mine, one runs into problems. The most obvious one is weather. I’m no businessman, but it might seem risky to operate a bar and restaurant whose major attraction is its outdoor setting; the mere threat of precipitation could cut into profits.

Then again, I’ve been to a great brewery in Asheville called the Wedge operating under similar circumstances, and they live in a damned temperate rainforest.

Of course, there’s a simple fix: Make the actual building large enough to accommodate guests on adverse days and seasons, like Fullsteam Brewery in Durham. After all, I imagine you can’t easily make schnitzel in the open air; you’ll need a full kitchen.

I hope this isn’t just a flight of personal fancy. While we do have Old Europe Restaurant & Bakery in Winston-Salem, that’s the only authentic German cuisine in the area.

The Triad can claim deep German cultural roots. Isn’t it time we flaunt what we’ve had all along?