Biz Buzz: German beer hall opens in Clayton County

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from across the tri-state area. This edition highlights developments in Dubuque, Guttenberg, Iowa, and Galena, Ill.

Sisters native to Guttenberg have opened a German beer hall in a historic building.

Jessi Eulberg and Joy Meyer opened Rathskeller in the basement of the historic Albertus Building, 218 S. River Park Drive, on Friday. The sisters also own the store Roots, which is upstairs from the beer hall.

“The town itself has a German heritage,” Eulberg said. “Every year, we celebrate GermanFest. We want to help build the Guttenberg downtown area and get tourism up and running.”

Eulberg said the basement of the Albertus Building was initially used as a cold storage space in the 1850s. The space was turned into a bar in the 1960s, but the bar closed in 1975.

“It was sitting there empty,” Eulberg said of the basement. “We got the wild idea to see if we could open it again.”

To stay true to German roots, Eulberg said Rathskeller will sell only German beer and soft pretzels. Currently, she said the business has 17 different beers, all from Fahr Beverage out of Waterloo, Iowa.

“It’ll be a seasonal establishment, just like the store upstairs,” Eulberg added. “This building is impossible to heat and cool.”

Rathskeller will run this year from Labor Day weekend to the end of November. Next year, it will run from May to November.

Hours will be 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 6 p.m. Sunday.