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Vol. 8 No. 6 A NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GERMAN-AMERICANS OF UPSTATE NEW YORK Complimentary
AUSTRIA • GERMANY • LIECHTENSTEIN • SWITZERLAND

December 2020 - January 2021 Issue

Hofbrauhaus opens to immediate
success in Downtown Buffalo

Schwibbögen: German Candle Arches Editor’s Note: This story was
written and photos taken) before the
by Daniel Schwarz The origins of the German latest Covid-19 restrictions were There's 30 tables here that seat up to It's been a busy time for Wind-
Schwibbogen can be traced put in place by NY State. ten people. (Hofbrauhaus) helps to schitl and other administrative staff
Have you ever seen a lighted back to the Ore Mountains, bring groups together….There's since the opening, working seven
arch in someone’s window by Steve Dlugosz been nothing but great, positive re- days a week over the past six weeks
at Christmas time? If so, Erzgebirge region views. The staff here has embraced and performing any and all duties.
these folks may have German heri- of Saxony, Germany. Various delays in opening the culture. We've had guests come Windschitl, who came to Hofbrau-
tage, and are carrying on their fami- over the past several years back over and over, some have been haus after working for 14 years in
ly’s German traditions of displaying the home window to celebrate the have not deterred Hofbrau- back 20 to 30 times already." the Bravo Restaurant Group at
their Schwibbogen. season and as a guiding and wel- haus Buffalo from achieving tre- Walden Galleria, knows the mean-
coming light for miner’s homecom- mendous success after its doors Polish Night is being introduced ing of strong work ethic.
One of Germany’s many favor- ing. This tradition of placing them were finally opened in late Septem- on Sundays as a way of welcoming
ite Christmas traditions that has in windows can still be frequently ber, at 190 Scott St. in Downtown the closely-related Polish heritage. His great-grandparents emigrat-
spread worldwide is to decorate seen throughout Germany. Buffalo, on the corner of Michigan Bands like The Auslanders, The ed to America from Germany and
one’s home during the Christmas Avenue. Frankfurters and other local favor- taught their children, and then their
season with a decorative arched In Germany it has even expand- ites regularly appear on stage. The grandchildren, the value of hard
candle-holder. Should you be able ed to large lighted Schwibbogen dis- One of nine Hofbrauhaus fran- on-site gift shop has proven to be work. These same descendants also
to stroll through a real German plays. These can even be seen in the chises in the United States, Buffa- extremely popular. loved traditional German food, and
Christmas market, you will see United States in some of the larger lo's site has served as a cultural Windschitl recalls as a child indulg-
these beautiful arches for sale in all cities’ public centers during the hol- celebration to its large German (and Hofbrauhaus Buffalo opens at 4 ing in schnitzel and other delicacies.
sizes and designs. idays. other ethnic backgrounds) commu- p.m. Monday through Friday; and
nity, according to Brian Windschitl, noon on Saturday and Sunday. Buf- "I loved it, and I never forgot
Although an arch is a practical As time went on, these Schwib- director of operations. The large falo Bills and other NFL games are about growing up like that," he said.
way of displaying candles, “Ker- bögen became more and more pop- facility accommodated many in a shown, as are Red Bull soccer
zen,” in an artistic and safe way, it ular, and started to be made out of socially distanced manner during matches. continued on page 2
also has some religious signifi- wood. Decorations started to be the COVID-19 pandemic, seating
cance. The candle arch is sometimes added including motifs of all sorts, roughly 240 overall, which is about
called a rainbow arch, which re- such as religious nativities, secular half of the originally projected seat-
minds Christians and Jews of God’s scenes of forests, various craftsmen ing capacity pre-COVID.
covenant with Noah and all living at work, and musicians such as in
things, as written in the book of the ones in the photo. Also, candles Hofbrauhaus is owned by 80
Genesis. have been even replaced with deco- investors and is a Bavarian-themed
rative candle shaped electric lights restaurant that features German
The origins of the German “Lichterbögen,” making them even beer, food and music. Its flagship
Schwibbogen can be traced back to safer and more acceptable in mod- location is in Munich, but there are
the Ore Mountains, Erzgebirge re- ern times. Craftsmen have contin- franchised restaurants in the United
gion of Saxony, Germany. These ued to develop these arches in more States and around the world. Other
mountains have been mined since sophisticated and creative ways, U.S. Hofbrauhaus sites are located
the 12th century for various metals incorporating double arches with in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Colum-
including silver, tin, and even urani- the lights between creating interest- bus, Chicago, Las Vegas, Pitts-
um ores. ing light and shadows. burgh, St. Louis-Belleville and St.
Petersburg.
The mine entries were typically These candle-holders are still
arched, perhaps from studying Ro- one of the products made by the The soft open menu features
man architecture and their use of craftsmen of the German Erzgebirge sausages, sauerkraut and potato sal-
arches for their strength. It is be- region, and sold world-wide. If you ad. The beer is strictly from the
lieved that the miners hung their can, check on the internet “Schwib- Hofbräuhaus family. The staples
walking lamps around the entry bogen Candle Arches from the Ger- that are brewed in house are Lager,
when entering the mine tunnel. One man Erzgebirge” and you will be Dunkel (Dark Lager) and Hefewei-
Christmas around 1726 this glowing amazed at the extensive choices of zen. In the meantime, it imports
arch of lamps inspired an artisan to highly crafted works of art that can three from Munich’s Hofbräuhaus:
create the first arched candle-hold- brighten up your home during the Original Lager, Oktoberfest and
er. It was made from wrought iron. Christmas holiday season. Hefe Weizen.

At that time it was most com- Inside, there are eight big-screen
mon to place the lit Schwibbogen in TVs to accommodate those dining,
regular live music, and even a
From: mounted barrel head from Munich.
General Manager R.J. Filbert was
The German Citizen on hand overseeing various meals
being prepared, including potato
soup and Bavarian pretzels. Mus-
tard on site is imported from Ger-
many. Staff are dressed in
traditional Bavarian Lederhosen
garb, with overall staff numbers
ranging between 40 and 150 on
varying basis. Windschitl said about
400 applied when the site opened.

"It's exciting to be a part of
what's going on here," Filbert said
while handling potato soup mixed
with pretzel croutons. "You can see
the energy this place creates."

The recent closing of local Ger-
man restaurants such as Scharf's and
Black Forest Adler has created cul-
tural dining holes that Hofbrauhaus
has emphatically filled. Windschitl
said he believes the pandemic has
also brought about an appreciation
for family, with that theme present
at Hofbrauhaus.

"Covid really slowed every-
thing down," said Windschitl.
"Here, we have little kids, grandpar-
ents, the whole family dynamic.
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