New German on Avenue C (sounds good!)
- Jim Leff
A hot tip from one B.R. Rolya (note: all beers imported by B. United are excellent):
I won't use this forum to go into a diatribe about the gentrification of
the East Village and its cookie cutter bars, bistros, and uptown crowds who
invade the neighborhood to get drunk and yell "dude" into their cell
phones... But there is one small (very small) benefit to this: good bars
on Avenue C (yes, Avenue C).
Zum Schneider is located at 107 Ave. C (on the corner of 7th St.). They
feature only German beers (mainly B. United beers) and will soon have a
kitchen serving Bavarian food. A recent tap selection included Reissdorf
Koelsch, Jever, Warsteiner, Hofbrauhaus lager, Schneider Weisse, Aventinus,
Hacker Pschorr Munich Dark, Hacker Pschorr Helles, and DAB. All of the
beers are served in their appropriate glasses and every draft costs $5 (or
2 for $5 in the case of the smaller koelsch glasses). There is also a good
bottle selection. They've got large, communal tables and a small bar area
(but no chairs at the bar).
It's still new enough to be pleasant on the weekends.
I went there last weekend. Selfishly, I didn't post anything, mostly because I live a block away and was fearful of the aformentioned stupidification of E. Village drinking options. Well, the secret's out now, so I can come clean.
This place is great.
I'm no beer geek, so I can only say my Schneider Weisse was fabulous, and I was really excited to see a whole bunch of beers I've never heard of on tap. It was the look and feel of the place that really sold me: they've managed to create a really beautiful space very simply. It looks like no place else I've been: bright, wide open, hardly any decoration other than a couple of huge plaster tree trunks hanging from the ceiling. It feels like some minimalist dream beer garden.
There are really charming table cards about how the owner (who I assume is the guy in lederhosen at the tap) missed the chestnut trees and beer halls of home, and decided to share them with his neighbors. If the food--when it arrives--is done with as much care and love as everything else, it should be awesome. Great thick, crunchy pretzels when I was there, too.
Too bad about that strange magnetic force field that makes cell phones explode, though.
re: Steven Stern
I've been hitting the new Zums weekly since this posting, and it is indeed awesome. Their kitchen should be open any day now - last Thursday the owner said it was opening for Sunday brunch, but not for full-time service yet. The atmosphere is great - the closest to a German beer hall we have in NY. People are actually friendly here - I made friends with an 85 years young German immigrant last time I was there. God, I hope this place doesn't change.
p.s. Watch out for that Aventius beer - it's like drinking a high-alcohol loaf of pumpernickel.