On Christmas Eve, I took some out of town guests to the recently opened Paulaner Brauhaus on the Bowery (hoping for a festive evening of beer and German Food). First the good news: Decent and authentic German Food has returned to Manhattan. Bratwurst, Sauerbraten, Spatzel, Wienerschnitzel were far above what passes for German Food in Manhattan today. But, this place was lacking any sense of a German beer hall--without music, customers or beer carriers performing balancing acts through the spacious aisles. Sadly, Paulaner has zero Gemutlichkeit--the one ingredient that could make this place a major success.
I'm sorry to hear this. My wife and I had been looking forward to this place since we read about it a while back. We figured that someone like Paulaner would have the knowledge and wherewithal to do it right.
We're both old enough to remember some of the old German beer halls that used to line 86th Street in Manhattan years ago. One place that comes to mind for us is the old Bavarian Inn, and we also fondly recall places like Cafe Geiger, Lorelei, Klein Konditorei and the Ideal Cafe. We were hoping that Paulaner would bring some of that atmosphere back.
You mention a lack of customers, never a good sign. Do you think it's because they had a relatively quiet opening (very few announcements that I saw), or do you think it's an omen of a dismal (and short) future?