Reporting Natalie Nyhus
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Oktoberfest celebrations have been going on around the country and the Twin Cities is a hot spot for the German celebration.
Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit, otherwise known as Gasthof’s, is in Northeast Minneapolis and lets you taste the tradition year round, but goes all out for fall.
Gasthof’s has been open since 1992, is a 14,000 square foot Bavaria-style bar and restaurant. With polka, beer steins and German drinking songs — it may look and sound like Germany, but it’s in our own backyard.
“People come in from all over … different states, people come from different cities because they have fun,” said owner Mario Pierzchalski.
Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak had his 50th birthday party there, and stars like Josh Hartnet and Josh Duhmal have been known to make appearances.
For the past month, they’ve been celebrating the fall food and beer festival Oktoberfest, but Oct. 15 is the final weekend for the big celebration.
“Oktoberfest in Germany started in 1810. And today, it’s like 5 to 6 million people come (to Germany) every year from different countries. We have small festival for the restaurant,” said Pierzchalski.
There are traditions here that keep people coming year round.
“Das boot is very popular. People come here and can’t pronounce (the) name. They say, ‘This is the place with the boot?’ Yes, this is the right place,” said Pierzchalski.
Gasthof’s also serves up after-dinner apple schnapps doled out on a board and another post-meal tradition — snuff. The snuff is a combo of herbs and tobacco put on a snapping board and then you sniff it. It’s meant to clear your sinuses.
All the traditions attract people young and old and keep them coming back, after all, Gasthof is German for guesthouse.
“The culture — the culture here is awesome. You got to come visit Gasthof’s for the culture,” said Octoberfest partygoer, Jon Kueld.
The final weekend of Oktoberfest at Gasthof’s starts at 5 p.m. Friday and wraps up Saturday night. There will be live polka music from 6-10 p.m. on both nights.
There is no cover charge to attend Oktoberfest, but you can buy tokens for beer and food like brats, sauerkraut and German potato salad.