Beer garden among plans for new venues in Sac Lot for beer garden has sat empty for a decade

Concert hall, beer garden among plans for new venues in Sac

Lot for beer garden has sat empty for a decade

The lot has been empty for a decade.

“Before this fence was up, they actually had problems with homeless and tents being set up,” said Sean Derfield, who wants to build Der Biergarten.

Derfield said he wanted to borrow from an idea used in other cities, using refurbished cargo containers as instant buildings for the kitchen and restrooms.

Derfield is shipping picnic benches and beer steins from Germany for the open-air establishment. He said it will be closed on rainy days, but points out there are only about three dozen rainy days in Sacramento a year.

Derfield said he has made changes to plans, to accommodate concerns about noise in the Midtown neighborhood and to ensure the appearance.

People who live and work nearby think the beer garden could do well.

“We need something here, so I’m glad they are going to do something,” Ashley Mathew said.

Paragary Restaurant Group, meanwhile, said it will close Spataro Restaurant and Bar — across from the State Capitol.
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Restaurateur hopes to open midtown beer garden by late August

Story in the Sacramento bee about the opening of Der Biergarten in Midtown Sacramento.


Site chosen for Der Biergarten, Sacramento’s Urban Beer Garden

Published: Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2013 – 12:00 am

Cathie Anderson

Sean Derfield plans to open his latest venture, Der Biergarten, at 2332 K St. in midtown Sacramento in late August, but he’s still reliving the year it took to get his project through the city’s design review process.

Der Biergarten will be a German beer garden, an outdoor venue where customers can come for sausages, potato cakes, sauerkraut and, of course, German and Belgian imports or a local beer brewed in the German style.

Derfield identified a vacant lot next to the Golden Bear, and he shared his vision for a beer garden with the man who would be his landlord, Thomas Roth. Derfield wanted to do something he’d seen in a number of cities around the world, including one 75 miles west of here.

“We were in San Francisco, and they have a project called the Proxy Project down there,” he told me, “and basically, that project was using cargo containers for a German beer garden, so what they do is they have a restaurant serving beer and food from these cargo units. So we said, ‘You know, that would probably work in Sacramento.’ ” Thom Roth bought into the idea of cargo containers that could be removed in five years or so, if he wanted to develop a more permanent project on the lot. Derfield said he also received a warm reception in preliminary meetings with the city’s design review team in October, but after he hired an architect and contractor and submitted renderings in January, the tone changed completely.

“They did not like it at all,” said Derfield, who owns the River City Saloon in Old Sacramento. “They said, ‘We cannot put cargo containers in the middle of Sacramento.’ ”

Attempts to reach city urban design manager Greg Taylor were not successful. City planners made suggestions that Derfield at first interpreted as optional.

“When we’d take it back,” Derfield said, “they’d say, ‘No, we really don’t like that. We suggest you change it and come back and see us again.’ So, after three times, we gave in to their wishes. If they had just told us the first time, ‘We’re not going to approve you unless you change this,’ but they didn’t.”

A stucco-like exterior will make it hard to recognize the structures as cargo containers, and patrons won’t be able to people-watch on the street. It’s not the funky, artsy feel that Derfield had envisioned, but he’ll be glad to open.

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German restaurant/bar ‘Der Biergarten’ set to open in Midtown next February

As Posted in The Sacramento Press on October 12, 2012

by Cindy Baker, published on October 12, 2012

Sacramento's Der Biergarten.

Sacramento’s Der Biergarten.

In a sea of sushi bars, coffee shops and pizza by the slice, Sacramento has its share of copycat eateries. But a new German-inspired venue that is on the corner of 24th and K streets could shake up the gastronomical monotony. Der Biergarten is being touted as the newest plan that’s derived from one of Europe’s oldest traditions – Oktoberfest.

Sean and Erika Derfield, who own the River City Saloon in Old Sacramento, visited the Midtown Neighborhood Association Wednesday evening to present their plans to unveil a new restaurant that will be located in an area that’s readily walkable, has biking access and is already buzzing with healthy local traffic.

“We’ve always wanted to open a German pub,” Sean Derfield said. “We’ve seen some in San Francisco and New York, in different places, so Sacramento needs to step it up a little and have something different.”

The lot itself has stood undeveloped for a number of years. According to the Derfields, they are looking to use oversized cargo containers that customers can walk up to and order homemade pretzels, schnitzel, fresh sausages, and a variety of Belgian and German beers. Local brew and wine will also be featured regularly.

Open seating, casual dining and foosball and pingpong tables are all part of the new proposal. The Derfields said they hope to create the kind of environment that attracts a variety of Sacramentans.

Der Biergarten isn’t the only German-style beer hall slated to come to Sacramento, as plans to open another location in the former Lounge on 20 space are in the works. The other, LowBrau, will be four blocks from Der Biergarten, at 20th and K streets.

Members of the MNA did express concern, as noise complaints have plagued the busy intersection within the last few years. Some critics have been quick to point out the seemingly high concentration of alcohol-centric eateries has caused trouble in the neighborhood.

“It’s important that all of these owners communicate with each other and to use their best practices, because (Der Biergarten) will be located with neighbors right next door,” said MNA President Matt Piner. “It all comes down to having a livable city.”

Kimio Bazett, owner of The Golden Bear, a bar next to the space that Der Biergarten will occupy, recently told The Sacramento Press that he is happy new businesses – including Der Biergarten and Anatolian Table – are choosing the area. He said that he expects that the additions will increase foot traffic and help his business as well.

The Derfields said they are excited to bring new flavors to Midtown. Der Biergarten is scheduled to open in February 2013, with plans to be open from 10 a.m. to midnight, and potentially as late as 2 a.m. on the weekends.

Story from Sacramento Press