Beer garden on hold until 2017

Zoning issue means a different look for downtown project

The seasonal beer garden project that backers hoped to open this year within a short stroll of Fifth Third Field has been postponed because the original plan did not conform to the city’s architectural requirements.

The earliest opening date would be spring of 2017.

Developer David Klass, who announced the project in 2014, said the beer garden/restaurant concept hasn’t changed, but some of it has been reconfigured to keep the architecture consistent with surrounding buildings in the Webster Street district rather than a German Oktoberfest style.

The requirements of the zoning district were discovered late in the design phase, Klass said.

“It wasn’t a financing issue, it was an issue with an old zoning regulation standard that everyone missed,” he said.

The idea for the 12,000-square-foot lot is a restaurant offering German beer as well as local brands and “fast casual” food. Warped Wing, Fifth Street Brewpub, Dayton Beer Company and Toxic Brew would have taps there for their products, Klass said.

Klass said construction of the garden would cost an estimated $500,000. It would be open from March until around the end of October. Seating would be almost all outdoors with some covered seating for use in bad weather.

The location will be a patch of ground on the corner of First Street and Patterson Boulevard that’s now owned by the city of Dayton next to the Lincoln storage building. It is under a purchase option agreement with the Water Street development, the commercial/residential project that is nearing completion.

The beer garden would have the sponsorship of Brauhaus Riegele, a 638-year-old family-owned brewery from Dayton’s sister city of Augsburg, Germany. Its seating capacity would be 400.

Klass envisions an outdoor grill in the garden for homemade sausages and freshly ground burgers made to order.

“We really believe in the potential of the site to be a fabulous destination,” said design architect Brian Weaver of Alt Architecture of Beavercreek.

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