Jacob Wirth, Boston’s historic German beer corridor, is reopening with trendy updates

Breweries & Bars

The 150-year-old German beer corridor, a Boston landmark, is making a comeback below new possession.

A couple of patrons sit at a wooden table among several empty chairs inside a restaurant and bar named Jacob Wirth in Boston.
The Jacob Wirth Co. restaurant on Stuart Avenue, based in 1868, is reopening. Jim Davis/Boston Globe

If the partitions of the Jacob Wirth constructing may speak. That’s what Jamison LaGuardia, vice chairman of gross sales and operations with Royale Leisure Group, stated as he stood contained in the hollowed out former bar and restaurant, with nothing however wooden panels and a piano standing within the 4,100-square-foot house.  

“We began trying upstairs, and there was an previous protected up there,” stated Jacob Simmons, vice chairman of venture administration at Metropolis Realty Group, now the house owners of Jacob Wirth. “That is the enjoyable stuff once you get these 200-year-old buildings — you discover that previous protected or an previous sweet patent.”

Metropolis Realty is becoming a member of up with Royale, who might be in control of operations, to deliver the well-known Boston landmark again to slinging German beers quickly sufficient, as first reported by Boston Enterprise Journal.

What was Boston’s second-oldest frequently working restaurant has sat vacant for a handful of years now — not due to COVID-19, which is what most individuals assume upon discovering out of its closure, Simmons stated. A fireplace began in one of many upstairs residences in 2018, and since then, the folks of Boston have puzzled what would develop into of the decades-old institution.

It’s coming again as itself — principally. 

“We wish to maintain the nostalgia going,” LaGuardia stated. “We’re going to deliver it as much as 2023 requirements, however we’re going to maintain the center and soul of this place.” 

Jacob Wirth opened in 1868 by its namesake, who immigrated to Boston from Germany. One of many restaurant’s claims to fame, in line with its web site, is that it was the primary bar to distribute Anheuser-Busch beer. Wirth, the proprietor, was additionally one of many co-founders of Narragansett Brewing Firm.

In its early days, its German roots had been evident: On the menu was goose liverwurst for $1.95 and a glass of imported German wine for simply $0.60.

Apologies to these diners on the market with a longing for goose liverwurst, however Simmons and LaGuardia stated these sorts of things gained’t be on the menu. 

“The menu is under no circumstances going to be what it was when it first opened,” LaGuardia stated. “It was a distinct world.”

The brand new workforce bringing the restaurant and bar again are taking part in up on its German roots, but in addition modernizing it and together with some Boston bar staples. They haven’t finalized the menu but and wouldn’t go into additional element. 

However what they may say was that there might be loads of beer, served to clients on the similar mahogany bar. 

When requested concerning the return of the bar’s well-known piano singalongs, LaGuardia stated that’s one thing they’re eager to deliver again, in addition to different occasion choices: reside music, personal occasions, even karaoke. 

The house owners are mulling over the hours as effectively, however stated there’s potential to remain open in a while the weekends for the 21-plus crowd. In any other case, it will likely be a family-friendly restaurant and bar, catering to those that want a spot to cease earlier than or after the Theater District’s exhibits. 

So far as what it’ll appear like as soon as renovations are carried out, the house owners plan to hold or show a lot of the historic objects they discovered when beginning renovations. There might be a couple of TVs for video games, too. 

The kitchen was once within the basement, however as a result of that’s not sensible, the house owners are shifting it upstairs subsequent to the bar — which is able to lower some bar house down. However some information that has been welcomed by those that keep in mind the previous restaurant: The ladies to males lavatory ratio will lastly be as much as code, that means there might be extra rest room stalls within the ladies’s restroom.

Separate from the restaurant and bar, they’re additionally renovating residences upstairs. 

So when does this iconic bar make its return?

At one level for the reason that $5.3 million sale in February, it was imagined to open in time for Oktoberfest festivities this 12 months. However the workforce has hit some sudden delays, principally as a consequence of the truth that they need to work fastidiously with a landmark constructing. 

When new possession takes on a historic property designated as a landmark in Boston, they need to undergo the Boston Landmark Fee. Within the case of Jacob Wirth, the builders have needed to get approval for any repair to the public-facing exterior of the constructing and inside of the bar. 

For instance, the mahogany bar contained in the enterprise couldn’t merely be gutted, however slightly fastidiously eliminated in an effort to obtain updates. The previous clock out entrance isn’t going anyplace. Substitute tile should match previous tile.

“There’s type of an additional layer of evaluate that goes into this,” Simmons stated. “This goes lots slower than a typical build-up as a result of at each stage, you’re stopping, checking in with employees, getting approval, speaking over choices, after which shifting alongside.”

They’re hopeful the bar might be able to serve patrons for St. Patrick’s Day. Although the delayed timeline has been lower than splendid for the workforce, a shiny spot has been neighborhood enthusiasm in its eventual reopening. They’ve heard tales from locals who share their reminiscences of Jacob Wirth with them, from evenings listening to the piano play and meals they loved to shoutouts of beloved former workers that served clients within the 150-year-old institution.

“We have now contractors right here on a regular basis, and the doorways are open, and other people stroll by sticking their head in and ask questions — they are saying, ‘Oh, I keep in mind this place again within the ’70s, ’80s,’” LaGuardia stated. “It’s fairly enjoyable.”