Harlem Tavern Brings Germany Uptown With a Local Oktoberfest

By Jeff Mays on October 6, 2011 9:57am 

Harlem Tavern has 18 beers on tap. The restaurant will host its first annual Oktoberfest on Oct. 22.
Harlem Tavern has 18 beers on tap. The restaurant will host its first annual Oktoberfest on Oct. 22.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

HARLEM — Harlem Tavern wants to bring a little bit of Germany to Harlem when it kicks off its first annual Harlem Oktoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 22.

The restaurant's spacious outdoor patio will serve as the meadows of Munich and visitors will be able to sample several beers from brewers such as Sam Adams, Goose Island, Hoffbrau and Becks. Jagermeister will also be on hand with shots.

"We want to have a good time and we want to put on an event for the neighborhood," said Harlem Tavern co-owner Gareth Fagan, 33.

In Germany, Oktoberfest runs anywhere from 16 to 18 days, starting in September. The annual festival has become one of the most popular in the world with over five million visitors. Revelers consumed 7.5 million litres of beer at this year's festival, according to reports.

There are dozens of other Oktoberfest festivals all over the world.

Bar manager Eric Binder said he is expecting hundreds of visitors during the one day event. In addition to the 10 draft beers that will be available outside, Harlem Tavern's full beer menu will be available. The festival will also feature grilled bratwurst, sausages and live music.

"In planning this we've had a chance to talk to customers and everyone loves the idea. We are hoping the community comes out and tries out something a little different," said Binder.

The American-style beer garden opened in July and features 18 beers on tap and 40 craft beers. Harlem Tavern's owners tappped help from Seedco, a national nonprofit contracted by the New York City Department of Small Business Services, to try and hire locally.

Fagan, who also lives in Harlem, says he feels like the restaurant is being embraced by the neighborhood.

"There was a real demand for something like this because the response from people, whether they've been here 50 years or two years, has been positive," said Fagan.

Harlem Oktoberfest starts at noon and runs until 11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22. Admission is $10 which includes two drinks. Additional beer or food tickets will sell for $5 a piece. The restaurant is located at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and West 116th Street.

Harlem Tavern opened in July and is located at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and West 116th Street.
Harlem Tavern opened in July and is located at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and West 116th Street.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

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