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Beer and brats: Ludwig's German Table coming to Mountain View

Uploaded: Feb 19, 2019
The owners of Ludwig's German Table in San Jose are bringing their traditional German restaurant and biergarten concept to downtown Mountain View, taking over the former Bierhaus space on Castro Street.

Co-owners Nicole Jacobi and Ben Bate plan to open their second location this summer at 383 Castro St. Bierhaus closed in September after a messy dispute between the owner and landlord. Bierhaus eventually reopened in Oakland.

A San Jose German restaurant will replace Bierhaus in downtown Mountain View. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Jacobi and Bate opened Ludwig's in San Jose's historic Germania Hall three years ago, serving up traditional German beer and food. Jacobi hails from Hamburg, Germany, and Bate from England. Jacobi worked at hotels in Germany, Switzerland and London and operated two restaurant’s in Germany before moving to California for her husband's startup. Here, she ran a catering business and operated the FoodShed cafe at the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose.

The outdoor, communal biergarten at Ludwig's German Table in downtown San Jose. Photo courtesy Ludwig's.

The owners have used the 2,000 square-foot restaurant in San Jose to host classic German events, including Oktoberfest, Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) and next month, their first Karneval.

The Mountain View location will be more casual than San Jose location, "focused on an authentic German beer garden," Jacobi said. Along with drinks, there will be food that draws on Jacobi's roots and family recipes: imported pretzels, sausage salad, and German meats and cheeses. Social media posts hint at Mountain View menu items, like a riff on baked brie with lingonberries, red beet gnocchi with gorgonzola cream and frikadellen, pan-fried meatballs that are served cold.

A German pretzel served at Ludwig's German Table. Photo courtesy Ludwig's.

"It's not fancy and it shouldn't be," Jacobi said of the food. "It's more rustic."

The space and menu will have a "European vibe," Bate said. "We haven’t tried to put an American twist on it."

They hope to be open in May or June. Ludwig's will join a well-established beer market in the neighborhood, with Steins Beer Garden and Tied House just blocks away.
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Posted by Give me the Wurst!, a resident of Mountain View,
on Feb 19, 2019 at 2:56 pm

Yay! Beer and bratwurst returning to mine and my dogs favorite patio dining spot!

Posted by AFan, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Feb 19, 2019 at 5:15 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by MV won't forget, a resident of Mountain View,
on Feb 20, 2019 at 10:37 am

We miss the Beirhaus greatly and still have a lot of anger about how it was run out of town. I can't stomach going into a place that I know will enrich the greedy jerks who ran them out of town

Posted by Jeremy, a resident of Mountain View,
on Feb 20, 2019 at 3:28 pm

I still miss the previous Bierhaus, the one that had grass-fed burgers. Maybe this is heresy to admit, but I'd go there just for the burgers, and then maybe get a beer while I was waiting, instead of the other way around.

But it sounds like this is just going to be another "we don't care if we torture animals to get our meat" restaurant, which means I'll pass.

Posted by Eater, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Feb 22, 2019 at 4:13 pm

Sad that someone like "MV won't forget," above, swallowed the self-serving story put out by Bierhaus's controversial managing owner and 1-2 obliging short-term employees. Much of "MV" actually knows better than that by now, and any resident or journalist can figure it out if they look past the shallower story. That earlier commenter will feel shame for gullibility if and when he/she figures it out too.

Actually Bierhaus wasn't "driven out." It'd still be here if its managing owner hadn't alienated landlords, partners, and other business associates for years. In 2018 his landlords cited several misdeeds that he wouldn't admit to (then later, explicitly or implicitly, publicly admitted). They had valid reasons not to renew his lease. He also implied publicly that he'd created Bierhaus on his own (taking credit for key contributions by others). These things get around, whatever his original story.

We were loyal Bierhaus customers, we miss it. Many local residents, business people, and even former employees -- INFORMED Mountain View -- miss Bierhaus, but also know that the building's owners didn't just create the squabble, they were among the injured parties. The most naïve and absurd thing a Bierhaus fan could possibly do going forward would be to vent uninformed resentments on an innocent new business coming in -- and it wouldn't even matter, the new pub will earn its own following. It's amazing how people cherish resentments -- even mistaken ones! -- like something precious.

Posted by Br?t Wörst, a resident of Mountain View,
on Feb 24, 2019 at 11:42 am

Wrt to "Eater"'s comment, this is a case of pure he said, she said. Why do you assume that the average reader of this blog thinks your version of the truth is the reality? That's silly. You have a valid opinion, as do the other readers. Your self-righteous attitude in attacking someone's else opinion is pure poppy cock. Whether you have insider info or not is irrelevant since you're not in a position to provide verifiable evidence.

Posted by Eater, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Feb 24, 2019 at 4:07 pm

When Bierhaus was closing, one of its last employees posted an emotional social-media screed (an embarassment to her, long before now, if she's paid any attention since then) claiming two simultaneous, opportunistic, but mutually contradictory reasons for the landowners rejecting Bierhaus's lease renewal. (Both claims are now fully discredited, including implicitly by this blog story.) But the landlords themselves had earlier already given multiple reasons for declining further business w/ Bierhaus's controversial managing partner -- I already pointed that out -- then he himself eventually substantiated those reasons publicly on different occasions. He effectively validated their complaints, and therefore his own considerable responsibility for Bierhaus's closing. He did other things too. Either you know all this, or you don't. If you don't, you can always do the work to learn it.

So, no: neither the case history, nor conflicting comments on this page, are anything like "he said / she said." Contrary to the latest commenter's notions (posted in duplicate, no less), I don't "assume" anything about readers here, nor do I deal with any "opinion" or "version of" truth. I'm reporting more of the whole story, which one or two other commenters clearly didn't know yet. There's exactly one reality, and it fits ALL available facts, I even sketched many of them. Since anyone can verify the truth for themselves -- it's their choice to or not (and many have done so, by various routes) -- it ultimately doesn't matter what rhetoric anyone posts. The conflict here isn't among "opinions" but between those who still cling to the evil-landlords myth and those who've learned more, and moved past it.

(Someone who knows Ludwig's in San José said privately that maybe we should just encourage the "Bierhaus driven out" myth, so people will hold onto it and stay away, and then we'll have the new Ludwig's more to ourselves. Maybe some of that is happening...)

Posted by Ha! Enjoy it., a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Feb 25, 2019 at 1:54 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Global Diner, a resident of Mountain View,
on Feb 25, 2019 at 2:55 pm

The Wienerschnitzel was far more affordable & they even gave out antenna balls.

The old Heidelberg Beer Garden (Mountain View) & The Black Forest Inn (Los Altos) were pretty decent venues for beer & bratwurst. Reasonably priced as well.

I imagine a Swedish restaurant is next on the horizon...that way people won't have to go to IKEA. for Swedish meatballs.

And then...a Nairobi-themed eatery.

Posted by MV Resident, a resident of Shoreline West,
on Feb 28, 2019 at 10:34 am

I had a run in on Yelp with the owner of Bierhaus when I complained about some pricing and, even worse, not having sausage on the menu at the point I wrote the review. The restaurant removed sausage from their menu at some point and brought it back. I made mention that it was rather ridiculous to be a bierhaus without having German sausage. Well I guess he felt my review was unfair and complained to Yelp and had my review removed - claiming I had never been there. It was ridiculous as I had been there multiple time before because a friend wanted to go. Even though my friend continued to go (and I still went along), I never forgave the owner for that and stopped proactively posting on Yelp because reviews were clearly being influenced by business owners willing to pay Yelp money. I'm glad that something similar is going into a space that has had very bad luck retaining businesses since it was Wienerschnitzel.

Posted by Hogwash, a resident of Mountain View,
on Apr 29, 2019 at 12:32 pm

Late to comment but:
Some background here to the history of Bierhaus. The owner of Bierhaus took over the lease from a failing Mediterranean business that was failing by the month. He took over this spot, and poured his guts, blood, and money into the former Steakout. Steakout deemed to be not his true vision, and therefore spent lots of time and effort into transforming Steakout into Bierhaus. Again, he spent lots and lots of money turning Bierhaus into the place that MV loved to go with their friends and family. Enter the owner dispute. I don't know the dealings of the dispute, however, I do know that the owner was livid when it was discovered that the owners would not renew the lease, and yet was going to ride on Bierhaus' coat-tail for instant success and their customer base. It was a stab in the back and a crap move on the owners part. This is why the owner fought SO hard to get a renewed lease, at the new cost increase. Imagine this, you're renting a place, and over years you make it your home. Then 10 years later, your rental is being sold from out under you. You're heart would be broken too, after all the time and effort and money you spent you're done. Karma really struck at the owners, because they didn't materialize their restaurant idea. Ludwig will do good their, too bad they will get the grunt of the negativity due to loyal Bierhaus customers. In the end the owners win....but I don't think the court issue has been resolved.
The owner of Bierhaus had a vision...and materialized that vision, because he had a true desire to bring together people, families, dogs, with food and beer and a great place to hang out and SOCIALIZE.

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