"A German | Bavarian | Austrian restaurant | Brauhaus | beer | stube"
With its transition from the enormously popular (though dysfunctional) Great Beer Palace into Glunz Bavarian Haus in May 2003, the Vikings officially yielded to the Germans. Not only is the Haus a welcome addition to the Glunz mini-empire that includes Louis Glunz Beer, Inc. (beer distribution) and House of Glunz (wine merchant), but the Bavarian Haus represents a welcome change from all the "Irish" pubs going up all over Chicago. In fact Glunz Bavarian Haus has even helped reverse the trend of so many great German establishments going out of business, such as Der Salzburger Hopf (1970s) and and Von Stuke's (1980s) that were both predecessors to the Great Beer Palace. Glunz Bavarian Haus has also been followed by two newer German establishments, Überstein (Wrigleyville) and Prost (Lincoln Park). Though it may not last forever, you can be sure to wash down a mean schnitzel with a glass boot of Stiegl to the sounds of "Du, Du Liegst Mir im Herzen," at "The Haus."
Glunz Bavarian Haus is located at the southwest corner of Lincoln and Warner Avenue, in Chicago's North Center neighborhood. There, you'll find a two-story building with beige-painted façade and small brown awnings covering a handful of tiny windows. Potted evergreen shrubs flank the thick wooden door that leads to a dark interior that matches the door. In fact, seemingly everything at the Haus is made of wood, from the bar that runs half the length of the southern wall with high-backed wooden barstools, to the wood paneled walls and columns that hold up a wood-paneled ceiling supported by crisscrossing wooden beams, and low-slung wooden tables and chairs spread throughout the room that were imported from the one-and-only Hofbrauhaus in Munich, and slightly elevated stage in the rear there's so much wood that you can't help but wonder if the Black Forest has been reduced to a rolling meadow. As you would guess, the décor consists of German beer signs, paintings and beer steins from the old country, along with an impressively carved miniature Stiegl beer wagon encased in glass that forms the partition between the bar area and restaurant seating.
Thanks in part to their sister beer distribution company, Glunz Bavarian Haus offers about a dozen German beers on tap, highlighted by Stiegl, Spaten and Reissdorf Kolsch, a few seasonal rotations and a couple of other European brews like Delirium Tremens and Fuller's London Pride. All of above are available in one and two-liter steins, and the inevitable glass boot. PBR is available for those afraid of German beer, you'll find 20 additional beers in bottle form, and a few Rieslings are also available by the glass. As for the menu, created by a chef from Salzburg, you'll find traditional Bavarian fare, including Wienerschnitzel (with a "a picture-perfect crunchy crust and a light flavor that's augmented by a tart cranberry jam," according to the Chicago Tribune food critic, Phil Vettel), Sauerbraten (beef marinated for five days), a variety of sausages, and Jaegerpfandl (pork tenderloin tossed with a bacon-mushroom sauce served with homemade spätzle). A few additional items are included for those desiring something that isn't fried or meat and potatoes, like gazpacho, smoked Atlantic salmon tartar, cheese platter (Fontina, Swiss, Parmesan, Gorgonzola and Brie), and Chilean sea bass. Appetizers range in price from $2 to $12 and entrees go for $16 to $23. A highly sought after apple strudel is what you'll be having for dessert. Additional seating can be found in the leafy sidewalk café along Warner Avenue, set upon a life-sized chessboard, which sometimes features pieces that stand three feet high.
As you drink & dine, German music plays continuously overhead until superceded by a live oompah band (and occasionally jazz) to a primarily neighborhood crowd of younger, casually dressed condo dwellers. Because there is still a relatively high concentration of German bars in the area, pub crawls often blow through on weekends. Glunz is open every day except Monday.
Glunz Bavarian Haus is owned and operated by Jim Glunz, whose great grandfather Luis Glunz started a wine, beer and spirits merchant at Wells & Division in 1888, which still stands today as the House of Glunz. If you like Glunz Bavarian Haus, you might also like Laschet's Inn, Resi's Bierstube and the Chicago Brauhaus, all of which are located nearby. For more information, check out the Glunz Bavarian Haus website. Zum Wohl!
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