Ardent fans of the FiDi's oldest old-school German beer hall, Schroeder's (121 years old, to be exact), are either going to be excited or filled with dread to hear that it's reopening next month after a large scale remodel, with a new, modernized, California-German menu. Schroeder's has been known for many decades not just for its big steins of beer and polka bands, but also for its very traditional German food, like sausages, schnitzel, and sauerbraten. The beer program is getting a makeover, but I'm sure it'll be delicious, and the food is getting a total overhaul at the hands of chef Manfred Wrembel, who spent six years in the kitchen at Incanto and also recently worked at Plum in Oakland.
The release is calling his menu "upscale German Cuisine with Californian sensibilities, showcasing traditional flavors like rye, dill and caraway and house-made sausages and
pickles." And there's probably a lot to look forward to there, assuming you weren't married to Schroeder's basic, straight-out-of-Frankfurt former menu. Wrembel has German flavors in his blood, with two German parents and a grandfather who was a butcher back in Germany.
The place has been closed since the new year, after new owners Jan Wiginton or Andy Chun (who also own Press Club) took over upon the retirement of longtime owners Jana and Stefan Filipcik. The place was founded, in a different location, in 1893 (it's had several locations, but it's been in this one since 1959), and Wiginton and Chun were committed to preserving as much of the architectural detail, and the historic feel of the place as they could, with the help of BCV Architects and a new facade by Levy Design
Partners. The vast, 5,000-square-foot space will be divided into two halves, with a front half that retains the beer hall feel, and a back half that will be more geared toward dining.
And yes, there will still be polka.
Beverage Director Mauro Cirilli (also sommelier at Press Club) is bringing in some new Austrian and German wines, and he got some help with the beer program from Rich Higgins, one of our only local Master Cicerones. They've put together a tap and bottle list of with 22 international brews ranging from German/Czech styles to Belgians and domestic craft beers. Plus, there will be a new cocktail menu by Claire Jane Hunter, who's worked at Rye and the Future Bars empire.
Pro tip: They're going to be doing an opening deal where if you come in for lunch, you'll get a token for a free Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier at Happy hour, so that's cool.
The exact opening date has not been set, but friends-and-family type stuff appears to be scheduled the first week in May, so stay tuned for an update on that. New hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays.
Schroeder's - 240 Front Street - Reopening in mid-May