FINANCIAL DISTRICT — A German beer house and an American barbecue joint are setting up shop on one of the oldest streets in the city.
Ronan Downs, co-owner of other popular spots along the Financial District’s historic Stone Street including The Dubliner and Beckett’s Bar and Grill, is branching off from his Irish roots to open Bavaria Bierhaus and Route 66 American Barbecue this spring.
"We wanted to do something different,” said Downs, 61. “Adding some unique German beers and some great barbecue to this street seemed like a good way go.”
The bi-level beer house, which sits next to The Dubliner on the cobblestone pathway between South William and Pearl streets, will feature a host of “unusual” German brews, along with other craft beers, Downs said.
For added authenticity, Downs had the Bierhaus’s massive bars made in Erding, a town in the Bavaria region of Germany. The workers who constructed the long, wooden bar even flew to New York to assemble it, along with the high, circular tables common in beer houses.
Downs also had lots of wood imported — though not from Germany — for his barbecue spot. The ceilings of the restaurant are covered in reclaimed wooden beams from Wisconsin, giving the expansive eatery a cozy feel.
Route 66, which takes the place of one of Downs’ older restaurants, the shuttered Water Stone Grill, will be located right next to Beckett’s and across the street from the Bierhaus.
Downs said Route 66 will open by mid-April and the Bierhaus will follow, hopefully launching by May 1 as the warmer months bring hordes of locals and tourists to the street's popular outdoor seating.
The anticipated throngs have perhaps never been more welcome, said Downs, who first opened Beckett's in 1995.
He and the other small business owners along the charming 17th-century street, said to have been the first paved pathway in the city, all had their deep basements flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Though their shop spaces were spared, they lost thousands of dollars in equipment and food.
"We're happy to bring something new here," Downs said.
"This is a very unique street and we've all had to struggle with the storm, but we're a tight-knit group down here, and we want to see this area thrive."