Raise a glass, Hofbrauhaus fans. The German-style beer hall has secured its required number of investors for the new downtown location and is on track for a spring opening, according to franchise owner Kevin Townsell.
There are a "handful" of shares still available for accredited investors, running $50,000 apiece. But enough have been secured that the company can move forward with the $4.5 million project. Townsell just crossed that equity-raising threshold this week. He expects to go to the Buffalo Planning Board for approvals next month.
Townsell recently teased on Facebook that beer-stein lockers will be available as part of a customer membership program.
The German-style beer hall will have a membership program similar to the Stein Master Club at the Hofbrauhaus in Cleveland. Cleveland members pay an annual membership fee, $199 the first year and $149 per year after that, and receive a custom-engraved beer stein, 12 free beers, discounts, and get to skip to the front of the line during monthly keg taps.
OK, we've reached the minimum investment subscription to get this ball rolling! Stay tuned here for info on opening...
The one-liter steins are kept in small lockers, each with its own padlock. Members unlock their steins, rinse them in a special copper sink, bring them to their seats and drink from them during their visit. Afterward, they rinse them again and lock them back up until the next time.
The Hofbrauhaus beer hall and restaurant is planned for a former Upstate Milk plant in the Cobblestone District at 190 Scott St. at Michigan Avenue.
It was originally planned for a parcel of undeveloped land along Scott Street between Main and Washington streets, near Canalside’s Marriott Courtyard hotel, but utility issues delayed the project.
It will begin hiring staff at the beginning of January.
Hofbrauhaus Buffalo will be patterned after the original, famed Munich Hofbrauhaus beer hall. It will be the ninth franchise in the United States with one in St. Louis being the latest.
The Buffalo location's brew master will travel to Munich to learn how to brew the company's namesake beer at the Buffalo location.
The restaurant will serve German food such as schnitzel and giant Bavarian pretzels. It will seat about 500 people at long tables inside, with room for another 200 in an outdoor beer garden.
Servers will wear traditional German lederhosen and dirndls.