Newest Hofbräuhaus Opening Pushed Back to 2018
Belleville, IL/November 24, 2017 (STL.News) – Residents across the St. Louis metro area have been waiting all year for the long-promised Hofbräuhaus-St. Louis to open in Belleville. Motorists have watched for the past two years as the enormous white building was erected on a parcel of land across the road from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows. Drivers along Illinois Route 15 can now see the Hofbräuhaus signs from the road. But for the rest of this year at least, they’ll have to keep on driving. According to the company’s website, the late fall 2017 opening date is being pushed back to early 2018.
Work on the project continues and there are signs of progress. The company has bumped up its online presence in anticipation of opening, including new content on their official website, and an increased social media presence. They’ve also begun advertising job openings, including a Production Kitchen Manager and Assistant Master Brewer. And work continues at the site. The parking lot was recently paved, and work crews can be seen hanging signage and doing other “finish work.” But there’s been no specific opening day announced yet.
Delays have plagued the project since construction began in late 2015. The German-style restaurant and brewery had originally been slated to open in the summer of 2016, but design changes—including a $1 million redesigned interior and kitchen to suit the franchisor, Las Vegas-based Hofbräuhaus of America—slowed progress to a crawl. There were also delays getting utilities connected to the undeveloped site as well as some political friction between developer Chane Keller and Belleville City Clerk Dallas Cook that ended with a cease and desist letter from Keller’s attorney to Cook, accusing the mayoral candidate of making “false and defamatory” comments about the project. Cook has always denied doing so.
The Belleville News Democrat, which first reported this newest delay, says father and son developers Chuck and Chane Keller received the only Hofbräuhaus franchise granted for the St. Louis metro area. The pair are spending about $12 million to build Hofbräuhaus St. Louis-Belleville. Belleville city officials have kicked in another $2 million to extend sewer lines to the site, and around $32 million in tax incentives for the project. The Belleville brewery-biergarten-restaurant is based on the original Hofbräuhaus (royal brewery of the Kingdom of Bavaria) in Munich, Germany, which dates back to 1592. The St. Louis-Belleville Hofbräuhaus will have seating for 750 inside along with a 250-seat outdoor biergarten. When it opens, it will be the largest Hofbräuhaus in North America, and the eighth franchise for the Las Vegas-based company.
In addition to the Hofbräuhaus biergarten and restaurant, the Belleville development is supposed to include three additional restaurants, a new convenience store with video gaming, and a 130-room Hyatt Place hotel and conference center. Work has not yet begun on any of the other projects.