An ambitious plan to open a beer garden is becoming reality downtown at the corner of Villa and Bryant streets. Steins Beer Garden proprietor Ted Kim said the revamp of the building he is leasing at 895 Villa is costing nearly $2 million and may be complete in February.
Kim laughed as he said the city's "opinionated" city planners asked for the water fountain on the patio and front doors like those at Xahn, a Vietnamese restaurant around the corner.
Going for a "rustic but modern" look that pays tribute to traditional European beer halls, Kim counted Abbot's Cellar in San Francisco and the Yard House restaurant chain as inspiration. Flooring that looks like reclaimed wood and "earth tone" walls will mix with a high-tech TV placed high in a dividing wall that looks like an opaque window when turned off. He said he plans to have 30 beers on tap, in kegs that will be kept next to the bar in a cold locker with windows.
Chef Colby Reade is planning a menu based mostly on organic ingredients delivered daily ("I don't like refrigerators," he said), including smoked meats, a vegetarian menu, and pretzels and corn-nuts made in-house as bar food. A Sunday brunch is also in the works. An outdoor patio will have long Octoberfest-style tables and a fireplace.
The project originally faced opposition from noise-fearing neighbors, who sought to strictly limit the hours patrons would be able to use the patio. Following an appeal, Steins won the support of the City Council in July. The restaurant will be allowed to use its patio until 10 p.m. on week nights, and 11 p.m. on weekends, rather than the 6 p.m. cut-off imposed by the city's zoning administrator.