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Developers tinker with the look of new Hofbräuhaus restaurant

IBJ Staff Report
    BELLEVILLE — To enhance the traditional atmosphere of the Hofbräuhaus-St. Louis/Belleville, the developers of the German restaurant and microbrewery have added a complex, Bavarian Gothic transfer vault ceiling to plans for the dining rooms.
    The revised plans also include a higher, mansard-style roof; a redesigned kitchen better able to handle groups of all sizes and a re-arranged welcome/waiting area, according to Chane Keller, the developer.
    With the changes, the developer now is investing more than $11.5 million in the restaurant and microbrewery, plus another $7 million for site preparation. When completed, the Hofbräuhaus will be the largest single themed destination restaurant in the region, Keller says.
    From appearances, the Hofbräuhaus is more than half complete, with exterior walls in place. Originally planned as a story-and-a-half, the 31,000-square-foot structure now reaches about three stories or 58 feet in height. The structure is the largest of the seven Hofbräuhaus restaurants in North America, and is about half-again larger than the 20,000-square-foot Chicago facility.
    The restaurants are modeled after the traditional and centuries old beer halls and restaurants in Bavaria. Each building must meet strict standards for appearance, quality and detailed craftsmanship. Similarly, strict standards are set for food, beverages and service.
    “The Hofbräuhaus will have the look and feel of old world Germany,” Keller said. “The look, the welcome and the general atmosphere we are creating will help assure that Hofbräuhaus becomes a popular destination for adults throughout the region and beyond.”
    Hofbräuhaus beers will be brewed on-site with state-of-the-art equipment produced in Vienna and shipped to Belleville. Munich-based brew masters will assist in managing installation of the equipment and will train local brew masters and staff. Furnishings and beer steins will duplicate Old World Bavarian beer halls.
    Site preparation for the overall complex is expected to resume soon, to be followed by the installation of streets, curbing, parking lots and utilities.
    Construction details for the previously announced Jack Flash convenience store and fuel station are nearing completion, with building expected to begin in the spring.

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