Co-owners Nicole Jacobi and Ben Bate plan to open their second location this summer at 383 Castro St. Bierhaus closed in September after a messy dispute between the owner and landlord. Bierhaus eventually reopened in Oakland.
A San Jose German restaurant will replace Bierhaus in downtown Mountain View. Photo by Magali Gauthier.
Jacobi and Bate opened Ludwig's in San Jose's historic Germania Hall three years ago, serving up traditional German beer and food. Jacobi hails from Hamburg, Germany, and Bate from England. Jacobi worked at hotels in Germany, Switzerland and London and operated two restaurant’s in Germany before moving to California for her husband's startup. Here, she ran a catering business and operated the FoodShed cafe at the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose.
The outdoor, communal biergarten at Ludwig's German Table in downtown San Jose. Photo courtesy Ludwig's.
The owners have used the 2,000 square-foot restaurant in San Jose to host classic German events, including Oktoberfest, Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) and next month, their first Karneval.
The Mountain View location will be more casual than San Jose location, "focused on an authentic German beer garden," Jacobi said. Along with drinks, there will be food that draws on Jacobi's roots and family recipes: imported pretzels, sausage salad, and German meats and cheeses. Social media posts hint at Mountain View menu items, like a riff on baked brie with lingonberries, red beet gnocchi with gorgonzola cream and frikadellen, pan-fried meatballs that are served cold.
A German pretzel served at Ludwig's German Table. Photo courtesy Ludwig's.
"It's not fancy and it shouldn't be," Jacobi said of the food. "It's more rustic."
The space and menu will have a "European vibe," Bate said. "We haven’t tried to put an American twist on it."
They hope to be open in May or June. Ludwig's will join a well-established beer market in the neighborhood, with Steins Beer Garden and Tied House just blocks away.