News

New pub, 'Drafthaus,' to replace Bierhaus

After forcing the downtown pub Bierhaus to close last month, the restaurant's landlords are now planning to open their own establishment -- "Drafthaus."

Khoe Tran, who owns the 383 Castro St. building formerly occupied by Bierhaus, filed paperwork last week for a new beverage license at the same site. His application was short on details except that he intends to call the new pub Drafthaus, and sell beer, wine and some kind of food.

Earlier this year, Tran had declined to renew the lease for Bierhaus, blaming its owner Mike Finley for being late with rent payments.

Finley alleged that Tran was kicking him out so he could steal his business concept for a beer garden. Finley currently has an active lawsuit against his former landlords, alleging various violations of his lease agreement.

Tran did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Voice.

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It remains unclear when Drafthaus is expected to open. City officials say they have not received any application for a new business license at that location.

In the final days before closing on Sept. 28, Finley sold off nearly all of the restaurant's picnic tables, furniture and glassware. The site appears to now be undergoing an interior remodeling project.

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New pub, 'Drafthaus,' to replace Bierhaus

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, Oct 12, 2018, 2:36 pm
Updated: Mon, Oct 15, 2018, 1:46 pm

After forcing the downtown pub Bierhaus to close last month, the restaurant's landlords are now planning to open their own establishment -- "Drafthaus."

Khoe Tran, who owns the 383 Castro St. building formerly occupied by Bierhaus, filed paperwork last week for a new beverage license at the same site. His application was short on details except that he intends to call the new pub Drafthaus, and sell beer, wine and some kind of food.

Earlier this year, Tran had declined to renew the lease for Bierhaus, blaming its owner Mike Finley for being late with rent payments.

Finley alleged that Tran was kicking him out so he could steal his business concept for a beer garden. Finley currently has an active lawsuit against his former landlords, alleging various violations of his lease agreement.

Tran did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Voice.

It remains unclear when Drafthaus is expected to open. City officials say they have not received any application for a new business license at that location.

In the final days before closing on Sept. 28, Finley sold off nearly all of the restaurant's picnic tables, furniture and glassware. The site appears to now be undergoing an interior remodeling project.

Comments

The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 5:05 pm
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 12, 2018 at 5:05 pm

My only thought:

DO NOT GIVE THEM OUR BUSINESS UNTIL THEY RETURN THE ORIGINAL BUSINESS AND THE ORIGINAL TENANTS.


DislikeCopycats
Cuernavaca
on Oct 12, 2018 at 5:25 pm
DislikeCopycats, Cuernavaca
on Oct 12, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Don’t want to support a landlord who drives out a successful tenant then steals that tenant’s business model. It may be legal but it is still a low-class move. They even swiped the word “haus”.


ReaderX
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:15 pm
ReaderX, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2018 at 8:15 pm

A more accurate name for the planned new business would be Grafthaus.


no
Old Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:24 pm
no, Old Mountain View
on Oct 12, 2018 at 9:24 pm

do they have a liquor license? Can MV Council withhold it?


Sheesh
another community
on Oct 13, 2018 at 3:41 am
Sheesh, another community
on Oct 13, 2018 at 3:41 am

Are they even going to go forward with that alleged new building to be built on the site? Was it all a ruse?

House of Tran

Biertran

Yeah, that's better.


Pushing Buttons?
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2018 at 4:01 am
Pushing Buttons?, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 13, 2018 at 4:01 am

What are the odds that the Tran family is trying to push buttons to irritate?
In any event, I picture a crowd outside their building filled with the Bierhaus crowd that showed up during the last days. The only difference is, this crowd does not go in. They congregate outside making it difficult for people to get in. The Tran Family name is quickly becoming familiar to those who love MV. Show up for opening day!!!


Reader
another community
on Oct 13, 2018 at 7:31 am
Reader, another community
on Oct 13, 2018 at 7:31 am

Wow. They barely changed the name at all. I'm sure they are hoping that Bierhaus customers won't even notice. I will not be giving the new establishment any of my business.


JR
another community
on Oct 13, 2018 at 11:25 am
JR, another community
on Oct 13, 2018 at 11:25 am

This is an absolute disgrace and one of the least ethical things I have ever seen. SHAMEFUL. Please do not give 'Drafthaus' your business, instead go to Steins, Tied House, or Sports Page if you want to have a beer. Remind your friends not to visit 'Drafthaus' as well.


AllYouCanEat
Monta Loma
on Oct 14, 2018 at 5:26 am
AllYouCanEat, Monta Loma
on Oct 14, 2018 at 5:26 am

Use your wallet and ban Tran. boycot Drafthaus. Start a social media campaign to send the message that Mt. View will not tolerate blatant business bullies!


ReaderX
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 12:32 pm
ReaderX, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2018 at 12:32 pm

I predict that in the new restaurant's first few months, there will be some "lively" discussion over at Yelp and other restaurant review sites.

:o)


MtvResident
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Oct 14, 2018 at 6:48 pm
MtvResident, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Oct 14, 2018 at 6:48 pm

This is a common problem for location dependent businesses that rely on rented property. The beer house tenant knew the risks when moving in and probably didn't negotiate a non-compete agreeement when moving in (which would surely have affected the rent). He was able to start a business with minimal risk and minimal capital by simply signing a lease. The landlord put his savings at risk when buying the property. In return, he owns the property rights and can do whatever he wants with his property (assuming there is no contractual agreement to the contrary...like a non-compete). It's an unfortunate situation for the former tenant, but there is nothing morally or legally wrong with this situation.


Sheesh
another community
on Oct 14, 2018 at 9:59 pm
Sheesh, another community
on Oct 14, 2018 at 9:59 pm

It was revealed in other articles that the lease for Bierhaus had a clause requiring the landlord to negotiate in good faith to renew the lease. The landlord choose not to live up to this legally binding portion of the agreement. That's why the Bierhaus owner has such a good case when he has taken them to court. Look for a T.R.O. to come down as part of that lawsuit.

Beyond that, by not buying out the previous tenant, the landlord has no way to transfer the liquor license. He's looking for a new license from scratch, which does take extra time. Expect Bierhaus to protest this situation with the ABC. Beyond that they are about to hold a drawing to randomly award the limited number of new liquor licenses available in Santa Clara County. I wonder how this landlord will do in this application for a liquor license. It seems to me that that honesty and integrity of the applicant has to factor in to the decision.


JR
another community
on Oct 14, 2018 at 10:13 pm
JR, another community
on Oct 14, 2018 at 10:13 pm

"MtvResident", if you honestly think there is nothing morally wrong with evicting your tenant so you can build a carbon copy of their business model then you should be working for the president in Washington, his morals seem to align with yours. As for the rest of the Bay Area, most residents do not support this sickening behavior and I think 'Drafthaus' may find nobody is willing to visit their establishment.


NoDraftForMe
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2018 at 9:15 am
NoDraftForMe, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2018 at 9:15 am

In considering the proposed business's name, I choose to be a conscientious objector and reject the Draft(haus). Join me, fellow objectors!


I'll use the bathroom
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2018 at 10:13 am
I'll use the bathroom, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2018 at 10:13 am

Won't spend a dime tho


SW
Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2018 at 2:19 pm
SW, Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2018 at 2:19 pm

I’m in. Sign me up. It’s the best idea.


Ex Pat
Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2018 at 2:39 pm
Ex Pat, Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Well, i’ll be a Draft dodger.

Yelp will serve justice with a side of curly fries!


William Hitchens
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2018 at 3:13 pm
William Hitchens, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2018 at 3:13 pm

Seems like Finley's lawsuit may have merit. Mr. Tran's filed business plans give Mr. Finley's legal team additional legal leverage against Mr. Tran. Another question: Does Mr. Tran plan to hire former employees of the Bierhaus once he opens "Bierhaus II", that is if he ever does?


Scooter
Gemello
on Oct 15, 2018 at 3:24 pm
Scooter, Gemello
on Oct 15, 2018 at 3:24 pm

That's a dirty lowbrow move by the owner. Not cool at all.


objector
Rex Manor
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:06 pm
objector, Rex Manor
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Greed!!!

Karma!!!


Stephen
Castro City
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:07 pm
Stephen, Castro City
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:07 pm

My guess is they are probably going to learn how brutal the restaurant/bar industry is, even with a prime location.


Greg David
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:09 pm
Greg David, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:09 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


Ron
Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:33 pm
Ron, Waverly Park
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:33 pm

So Khoe, I mean Greg,
Why don't you explain it to everyone?


David K
Registered user
North Whisman
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:39 pm
David K, North Whisman
Registered user
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:39 pm

While it easy to assume the worst about the landlord kicking out the restaurant and then stealing the concept (which I confess I initially jumped to), someone in whom I have a huge amount of trust (Max Hauser, MV historian extraordinaire) has suggested that there may be more to this story than is available to the public. So I will keep an open mind for the time being, rather than join a hasty boycott, especially considering how challenging it is to open a restaurant. I may in future join the condemnation of the building owner, but for the time-being I'm keeping an open mind.


Neighbor
Shoreline West
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:42 pm
Neighbor, Shoreline West
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:42 pm

Yeah, Drafthaus has nottthhhing to do with Bierhaus. Maybe they just filed to see what kind of reaction they would get? Good luck with that.


GoElsewhare
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:43 pm
GoElsewhare, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2018 at 4:43 pm

If they show the same "creativity" in the food and drink offerings that they did with naming the place (as in NONE), that place will shutter before the cheap table varnish dries. Go elsewhere to sip and dine, folks. There's a ton of other options downtown that didn't throw out the previous tenant and rip off his business model.


Beer Lover
Shoreline West
on Oct 15, 2018 at 6:48 pm
Beer Lover, Shoreline West
on Oct 15, 2018 at 6:48 pm

stehlenhaus = Stolen Haus.
I won't be spending money there.


Meh
Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2018 at 8:10 pm
Meh, Old Mountain View
on Oct 15, 2018 at 8:10 pm

They should call it OutHaus!

What a crappy thing to do, to steal someone's idea and copy their name.


David K??
Blossom Valley
on Oct 15, 2018 at 9:17 pm
David K??, Blossom Valley
on Oct 15, 2018 at 9:17 pm

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


ex-Hooli person
Rex Manor
on Oct 15, 2018 at 9:25 pm
ex-Hooli person, Rex Manor
on Oct 15, 2018 at 9:25 pm

This does not smell good. No back story is going to change that.


Common sense
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 17, 2018 at 12:20 pm
Common sense, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 17, 2018 at 12:20 pm

Wow, all these comments from people judging what they *demonstrably* don't understand, instead going only by surface appearances. Unlike the earlier article about the lawsuit move, Web Link which did attract some comments from people better informed -- who know more about this complicated situation than what little has been in the MV Voice. I think some of the commenters above will change their minds eventually, when (if) they finally understand more. People often do.

It's fun to make stubborn assertions like "no back story is going to change that" but since you can't know if it's true at the time, the claim is silly. Along with some other running assumptions visible above. ("Steal someone's idea" -- what exactly do you people think was original there? The business format, same as several others in the area? The diverse-beers menu? That point was dealt with already by an informed comment to the lawsuit article.) The offhand comments about "lease terms" by people who clearly don't know what was in it are something else.

Mike F was a charismatic Bierhaus host and deserves credit, but I've heard enough to know that out of the public eye, for years, he also apparently alienated a wide range of the other people involved. And the Trans added forthrightly, at a public meeting this year, that Mike F had long demonstrated bad faith and they'd just had their fill. "Late rent payments" as cited in this article was actually just one of their many complaints. Making physical changes without consulting them as owners, barring them from entering their own property, and never seriously negotiating, just trying to bully them with threats to sue. A claim Mike F proceeded to validate by doing just that.

Some better-informed people spoke up late in this comments thread and got deleted, so I don't know what they wrote. But impatience with so many earlier comments' rushes to superficial judgment is an understandable vice.


MyOpinion
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Oct 17, 2018 at 3:03 pm
MyOpinion, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Oct 17, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Even if what the Trans are doing is legal it’s akin to dating your best friends ex-boyfriend after he dumped her.


Howard
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Oct 18, 2018 at 10:00 am
Howard, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Oct 18, 2018 at 10:00 am

I love the David and Goliath, bad versus evil, Landlord against tenant stories this liberal media outlet prints. Mountain View Voice is a fake news maker in action.

Why doesn't the Voice interview and ask the Tran family why they threw out a tenant that doesn't pay rent on time and that pays less than fair market rent under a expired lease?

Come on people, get over getting back at landlords for exercising their rights when dealing with a trouble tenant.


MyOpinion
Registered user
Sylvan Park
on Oct 20, 2018 at 8:07 am
MyOpinion, Sylvan Park
Registered user
on Oct 20, 2018 at 8:07 am

To be honest that building should have been razed when Weinerschnitzel went under years ago, the remodel into a restaurant was like putting lipstick on a pig.


The Business Man
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2018 at 11:11 pm
The Business Man, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Oct 20, 2018 at 11:11 pm

In response to Howard you said:

“I love the David and Goliath, bad versus evil, Landlord against tenant stories this liberal media outlet prints. Mountain View Voice is a fake news maker in action.”

SIMPLY CRITICIZING THE NEWS IS NOT A GOOD ARGUMENT. You said:

“Why doesn't the Voice interview and ask the Tran family why they threw out a tenant that doesn't pay rent on time and that pays less than fair market rent under a expired lease?”

YOU NEED TO PROVIDE PROOF OF THE FOLLOWING:

RENT NOT PAID ON TIME. (SO FAR NO PROOF)

PAYS RENT THAT WAS NOT AGREED ON THE LEASE. (SO FAR NO PROOF)

AND AN EXPIRED LEASE. (SO FAR NO PROOF. BUT IF IT WAS EXPIRED, THE LANDLORD IS RESPNSIBLE FOR MISMANAGEMEN OF THE LEASE)

YOU CANNOT CLAIM THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR A LESS THAN FAIR MARKET RENT BECAUSE IT WAS A SIGNED AND AGREED WITH CONTRACT. You said:

“Come on people, get over getting back at landlords for exercising their rights when dealing with a trouble tenant.”

YOU HAVE TO PROVE THEY WERE A TROUBLE TENANT TO CLAIM THAT.

STILL BOYCOTT THE NEW BUSINESS. THE CUSTOMERS HAVE THAT RIGHT TO DO SO.


ResidentSince1982
Registered user
another community
on Oct 24, 2018 at 2:01 am
ResidentSince1982, another community
Registered user
on Oct 24, 2018 at 2:01 am

Interesting. The ABC says their new license is on hold since Oct 4. The notice on the window has been taken down and replaced by an ad saying the premises are for rent. Their lawyer has been claiming that the license attaches to the premises and the old owner took it illegally. That's not the way liquor licenses work. These guys not only didn't plan well, but they also don't have the best lawyer for the issue of opening with a liquor license.


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