Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Successful Start-up in Brooklyn

On December 31, 2013, the Badische Zeitung (BZ) published an article about a young couple from the Freiburg region who had opened a restaurant named Black Forest Brooklyn on 733 Fulton Street in Brooklyn on December 6. On January 2, 2015, our local newspaper came back to the story reporting that the Black Forest joint is regularly crammed full.

The Black Forest Brooklyn on 733 Fulton Street (©Holler)
The Hollers, Ayana from Sulzburg and Tobias from Pfaffenhofen, had met in the Big Apple and fell in love. Although he is an architect and she is a documentary filmmaker, they decided to open a restaurant in Brooklyn with specialties from native Baden. They called their start-up an Authentic German Indoor Biergarten and Kaffeehaus, Black Forest Brooklyn (BFB). Every hour on the hour, an original Black Forest cuckoo calls the customers to taste schnitzel, Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), and Freiburg's Lange Rote (long red bratwurst). Original decorative elements like pictures of the Black Forest and a heart with Freiburg written on it create a feeling of home away from home.

The Holler family and a big Black Forest cake (©BZ)
A year ago, the BZ showed a small family photo behind a big Black Forest cake, but in the lower right corner, you notice a glass of a beer from Cologne, the Gaffel Kölsch. Although the BFB has 14 German beers on tap, a brand from the Black Forest was still missing.

To honor the first keg of Rothaus Pils on US soil.
Chairman Christian Rasch had made the trip from Rothaus to Brooklyn (©Holler)
Eventually, on October 17, 2014, the Hollers celebrated the entry of Black Forest Rothaus beer into the US market with an official keg tapping ceremony and a special Rothaus happy hour at Black Forest Brooklyn. Getting a license for import was not easy since US home security considers all non-pasteurized beer a potential biochemical weapon.

When on December 6, 2014, the Hollers celebrated the first anniversary of their restaurant, they were overwhelmed, thanking their customers: You made our first year terrific!

Schiller once wrote in his poem Der Spaziergang (The walk): Wanderer, kommst du nach Sparta, verkündige dorten ... a phrase that I would like to translate: Madisonian, when you come to New York get the Freiburg feeling in visiting the Black Forest Brooklyn.
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