By Thomas Kolakowski
Can you name a single bar where you can have your beer served in a wooden three liter keg? Think about it for a minute or so. No? Well neither could we; at least not until the opening of Killmeyer's Old Bavaria Inn in Staten Island. After months of delays and with great fanfare Killmeyer's opened to the public on January 26th. Killmeyer's, which was known for decades as the Century Inn, is nestled on the corner of Arthur Kill Road and Sharrotts Road. The building has been a fixture in Staten Island since opening as a inn in 1890. It is believed that the front room was originally build in the late 1700's, and based on the hand hewn beams the dating is most likely accurate.
Part of the over-all experience of a night out is the atmosphere of the establishment. And
when it comes to atmosphere, Killmeyer's got it! One of the best compliments one can give a
restoration is that you are unable to tell whether the restorers did anything... that the place
appears as though it hasn't changed in the 105 years since it first opened. That is just the
feeling you get at Killmeyer's. From the hand-carved bar to the multi-patterned tin ceiling, you
come to feel that you've just walked into an old Bavarian inn from the last century. Ah, the
bar! The back-bar is a beautiful work of art. It is constructed from hand carved mahogany
which is dyed cherry. A brass plaque names the maker as A. Boyer and that the bar was
made in the Bowery in 1890.
Even the furnishing purchased to add to the overall effect seem as though they were
there a hundred years ago. Much of the furnishing were purchased from a German restaurant
in New Jersey that closed. These include such novel pieces as a moose head, hand painted
tapestries and signs. Equal detail is given to the exterior, which include street signs saying
Sharrottstrasse and Arthur Kill Platz. Due to the alliance the owners have forged with Spaten
there is a beautiful Spaten wrought-iron sign (the only in the U.S.) as well as other Spaten items.
Killmeyer's is the latest project from the owners of Adobe Blue. Just as with Adobe Blues,
Killmeyer's is a haven for beer lovers. With their menu approaching 100 listed there is a beer
for every taste here. Since the theme is Bavarian, one can expect that the selection of
German beers is extensive. Currently 51 German beers are offered, with new additions
being made daily. There are only five taps, but all are classic Spaten products (Spaten
Lager, Spaten Optimator, Franziskaner Hefe-Weiss, Paulaner Dunkel Weiss and Paulaner
Munich Lager). These are subject to change, with some different beers being offered weekly.
By the time you read this, it is expected that some kegs of Kostritzer Schwarzbier will be
gracing one of the taps. Kostritzer is a rather rare beer brewed in Bad Kostritzer in the
former East German province of Thuringia. The non-weiss tap beers are served in
either 1/2 liter ($4) or full-liter ($8.00) steins, as well as the 3 liter ($24) mini-kegs. Unlike most
bars there is no price advantage in ordering larger quantities, but who wouldn't love to have a 3-liter keg of Optimator sitting on their table? Weiss beer is only served in 23oz Weiss glasses ($4.50). Bottled beer prices vary with size and style, with a Schneider Weiss running at $6 bottle to more pricey .75L bottles of Belgian Abbey beers. Domestic bottled beers run around $3.25. Killmeyer's also has a wide selection of German liquors and cordials.
The kitchen officially opened in January and based on the 45 min. to an hour wait during
the weekends the food is well worth the wait. The menu is truly German, with all the items one
would expect (such as Sauerbraten and Wursts) plus some wonderful delicacies like there already
famous (or should I say legendary) veal Shanks (the most expensive item on the menu at $29.95, but
so huge that even old King Henry VIII would appreciate it)
Another attraction that will most likely make a visit to Killmeyer's a "must" will be the
brewing museum. It's not known when the museum room will open, but it will most likely be
within the next few months now that the kitchen has opened. Their next project is to add a "Beirgarten"
for the summer.
Any Friday night is a good time to pay a visit to
Killmeyer's, as they have an "Umpah band" playing German music, really making you think
you are in Munich.
So if you are looking for a German Bar that as the look and feel of yesteryear make it a point to visit Killmeyer's Old Bavarian Inn, you certainly won't be disappointed! Oh, and by the way, we did think of another bar that has the same 3-liter kegs; but heading to Ayinger's in Munich is to far of a commute!