One of the most frequently asked question we are approached with is ‘Where did the idea stem from opening a Bavarian Beerhouse in London?’ As so often, our idea sprung from our very own passion and interests.
The tale begins when Rene von Reth of Essen left Germany for good in 1994: for seven years he was travelling around the globe, working as a PADI Course Director (Train-the-Trainer and scuba diving instructor) which lead him to Australia, Thailand, the Maldives, Egypt, the Bermuda’s, the Caribbean and Spain. Once arrived, he would instinctively look for a German eatery to indulge in a pint of Erdinger and a pork shank.
In 2000, Rene permanently settled down in London where he would honour his tradition and try and find a German restaurant. To his great astonishment, he realised there was not a single German restaurant in London-quite surprising for such a cosmopolitan capital.
Rene, who has been a visionary all this life immediately spotted a niche market and came up with idea to open a Bavarian restaurant.
Fast forward to summer 2003 in Germany, where Rene and Sabine first crossed paths in the beer garden ‚Frankfurther Haus‘ in Neu-Isenburg, near Frankfurt. On the first evening they met, Rene told Sabine he was living in London and working as business development manager within the IT industry but was toying with the idea to open a Bavarian Beerhouse. Sabine, who was working as a Marketing Manager for Harley Davidson at the time, was immediately enamoured with Rene’s idea and Rene himself! Within four weeks after their first meeting, Sabine moved to London in order to pursue the idea of opening a Bavarian Beerhouse.
Back in the UK, the idea of the Bavarian Beerhouse fell on deaf ears by banks, investors and landlords. It was reasoned that despite lucrative ventures of Bavarian restaurants in the US and Australia there was no comparable measure of success in the UK. Despite the rejection, Sabine and Rene did not get discouraged and continued to pursue their dream of the Bavarian restaurant.
In October 2004, the first ever Oktoberfest event was hosted by the Bavarian Beerhouse Ltd. in an Asian restaurant, which were specifically hired out for the occasion. The events proved to be a great success-within a few days the entire event was sold out. After its Oktoberfest success, Corporate Christmas parties were hosted in hired out restaurants and confirmed by previous success. The field research had shown overwhelming results and it was clear that London was in demand of an Oktoberfest restaurant.
In July 2005, Rene discovered that ‚Davies Wines‘ bar, located in East London – opposite Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen – was up for sale. With great assertion, fighting spirit and dedication Rene managed to convince the landlord of his vision of the Bavarian Beerhouse. In November 2005 Rene was given the keys to this venue and on the December the 2nd, 2005 the first restaurant “Old Street” opened its doors on City Road.
Since its grand opening the success has been overwhelming. Within the first year the company reported high flying numbers and the restaurant was brimming with guests. In May 2010, a second outlet was opened in Tower Hill, and in August 2013 a third outlet opened its doors in Bristol. In the meantime, Bavarian culture and Oktoberfest has grown immensely popular and the Bavarian Beerhouse has found copycats in London and within the UK- but as the saying goes, ‘imitation is the greatest flattery‘! The Bavarian Beerhouse remains the first original German Restaurant in UK, which has laid the path for future establishments. Until this very day it is a privately run and owned company, which we pride ourselves on.
We are looking forward meeting you and working with you!
Rene & Sabine von Reth