The Hofbräuhaus Chicago, located just east of O’Hare Airport in Rosemont, Illinois, officially opened this Monday, March 18 with a Grand Opening ceremony that was graced with dignitaries from Germany and the United States.
Dr. Michael Moeller, CEO of Hofbräu breweries in Munich (the mother ship), was on hand to assist principals Mike & Joe Matuschka and Ted Wynn along with Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens in tapping the official Ceremonial Keg with the authoritative call of “O’Zapft is”.
The Fanfaren Corps of the Chicago Mardi Gras Society, Rheinscher Verein, initiated the ceremonial entrance with the unforgettable drum and bugle march which gave way to the official ceremonial guest, which also included many additional Hofbräu representatives from the United States and Germany. This was followed with an official church blessing of the hall before the humongous wooden keg from Munich was tapped. Of course after the keg was tapped, no more time was wasted and the dining began accompanied by the delicious golden Bavarian brew known throughout the world.
The soft opening in January and the initial operation throughout January and February gave the authentic German beer hall plenty of time to work out all the kinks and provide a well managed and choreographed operation during the official opening. Chef Klaus Lotter and Brewmaster Ben Zollenkopf showed off their best during the festivities featuring a delicious representation of Bavarian fare and Hofbräu beers. Managing partner BCD, which established the beloved Hofbråuhaus in Las Vegas, has brought along their vast experience in making sure that visitors will always experience the true Bavarian Hofbräuhaus experience when they step inside.
The authentic Hofbräuhaus décor with it’s dark wood and chandeliers provided the perfect setting for the legendary Bavarian “Gemütlichkeit” spirit of friendliness, and relaxation, which was enhanced by the incredible Austrian band “Die Reiflinger” and authentic Dirndl clad waitresses which made guests feel that they had been transported straight into the legendary Hofbräuhaus in Munich.
The Chicago location is the fourth and latest of the official Hofbräu Houses in the United States with a gigantic 20,000 square feet of space for the restaurant and brewery. It’s the only official German microbrewery in the Chicago area brewing authentic Hofbräu beer using their 400-year-old techniques straight out of Munich. The main beer hall called the “Schwemme” looks even more spacious than the original in Munich and has room for over 500 people. The adjacent (but open to the main hall) King Ludwig room can be separated into its own celebration area and has room for another 180 fun loving guests. Spring time and warmer weather cannot arrive early enough for the official opening of the Biergarten, which wraps around the front and north side of the building.
Well, the long awaited arrival of the Hofbräuhaus Chicago did not let us down. It’s a great addition to the MB Financial Entertainment Park in Rosemont and will let us celebrate Oktoberfest all year around. Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit!