Article released in Sacramento State Hornet newspaper.
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 12:00 am
Der Biergarten, opening up on the corner of 24th and K streets in Midtown, has promise to be a unique eatery Sacramento has not yet to seen.
Sean Derfield, owner of the River City Saloon,has been developing the idea since 2011 when he decided to build a German-themed beer house in the European open-air fashion.
Derfield said the new beer house will resemble San Francisco’s Proxy, a model of urban planning that demonstrates how a business can be successful by transforming underused areas like empty lots.
“It’s a beer garden that Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom came up with,” Derfield said. “(Proxy) used cargo containers for the architecture, and I thought, ‘What a great idea.’”
Thomas Roth, property manager of the plot agreed to the project because he thought it was such an interesting plan.
“This is a major corner in Sacramento,” Roth said. “The city is not used to shipping containers for buildings. It’s going to be great.”
But the project has been anything but easy to accomplish. Derfield said he has hit his share of speed bumps, mostly because of the use of the open cargo containers.
“Our plans kept getting kicked back with the city and health department, saying we couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that,” Derfield said. “Every time we objected to something, they had a different excuse.”
The plans to open before summer were delayed and Derfield was forced to open the exposed garden right before winter.
“It turns out that if you’re the first one to do something like this, they have to absolutely make sure it’s getting done right,” Derfield said.
One of the most exciting things about Der Biergarten is that it of only two beer gardens in Sacramento. Low Brau, located on 20th Street, opened last November.
Local restaurateurs, like Golden Bear’s executive chef, Matthew Brown, have also shown support and are anxiously waiting for the new beer garden to open.
“Everybody over here is excited and just waiting for it to open so they can check it out,” Brown said.
The garden will include concession style food, an open porch to sit and foosball and ping-pong tables.
“It’s an urban beer garden,” Derfield said. “It’s not traditional, we won’t be walking around in lederhosen.”
Derfield said the most important part of the business is its unique drafts.
“All the beer we are going to have you can’t just get at the bar down the street,” Derfield said. “We’ll have local favorites like Track 7 and New Helvetia, Pliny the Elder is a hot one too.”
Der Biergarten certainly promises to be something Sacramentans have not quite seen, especially for a traditional beer hall with an urban twist.
Although there has not been a specific opening date, those interested can go to www.beergardensacramento.com for more information.
Kaitlin Bruce can be reached at email@example.com
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.
Read more: http://www.kcra.com/news/local-news/news-sacramento/Concert-hall-beer-garden-among-plans-for-new-venues-in-Sac/-/12969376/19308562/-/a8x3mhz/-/index.html#ixzz2ayxOCotO
Story in the Sacramento bee about the opening of Der Biergarten in Midtown Sacramento.
Published: Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2013 – 12:00 am
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 Germanan 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 inand they have a project called the Proxy Project down there,” he told me, “and basically, that project was using 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 “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.
by Cindy Baker, published on October 12, 2012
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.