(Finally!) Pilsener Haus Opens, Part One
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Like everyone in Hoboken, About Town has been giddily awaiting the grand opening of the uptown Pilsener Haus biergarten. We've been so anxious to go there and write an article that for weeks now we've been stockpiling jokes about weird European customs.
We arranged to attend the biergarten's VIP opening party at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Unfortunately this opening party coincided with the monsoon season. Did you see all that rain? Ridiculous. About Town had an umbrella and a short walk, and we still got drenched. Our glasses fogged. Our sneakers sunk in puddles. Our trademark 18-inch calves stuck to soaked denim.
But, we made it. And so did those VIP's. About Town spotted Councilman Peter Cunningham, Cultural Affairs Director Geri Fallo, Zoning Officer Ann Holtzman, Human Services Director Leo Pellegrini, Parking Director Ian Sacs, administration aide Daniel Bryan and politicos Gary Holtzman, Scott Siegel and Keith Furman.
All of those people filled one of the long wood Pilsener Haus tables. But then there was another table filled with equally – and opposing - politically active people. There we saw Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr., Councilmembers Beth Mason and Tim Occhipinti, former Freeholder Maurice Fitzgibbons, former council candidate Franz Paetzold and Jersey City Councilman Jason O'Donnell. It was like seeing two cliques sitting at different tables in a high school cafeteria. To fit the scene About Town just sort of stood alone in a corner and stared ahead just like we had done in high school.
Standing in wet socks sucked, but About Town still had a great time at the Pilsener Haus. Our waitress, the lovely Dorie, served us a half-liter of something called the Kusovice Imperial. It was the only item on the menu we could halfway pronounce. They were all long Czech names. Upon our request otherwise-English-speaking lovely Dorie recited the beer list with a perfect accent like she had just returned from Prague au-pairing for Vaclav Havel's kids.* That's why the Pilsener Haus took so long to open – all the employees had to get their Rosetta Stone certification.
About Town asked our notable Hobokenite friends what they were drinking. Cunningham chugged a large liter glass of something called Franziskaner Hefeweisse. Ramos drank the Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen. Thurman ordered the Stiegel, while Scott Siegel had the Paulaner Salvator. We think we also saw the Holtzmans sharing a Ramalamalama Kedingadedingaadong.*
The same everyone who waited so long all finally got to enjoy themselves. By 8 p.m. the biergarten was packed, including both indoor halls. The rain had cleared and the benches outside were cleaned and filled with drinkers. It took awhile, but the Pilsener Haus pulled everything together and opened. In the end the wait is forgotten.
Stay tuned, About Town will be there to cover it. Hopefully while wearing dry underwear.
Although, because of the monsoon, the biergarten had to reschedule the ribbon-cutting celebration it had planned for Tuesday. Apparently that will happen on Wednesday.
This place is going to do well, and About Town is planning on spending quite some time there. Welcome to Hoboken, Pilsener Haus.
Alan Skontra was a big dork who never went anywhere. Then he started writing the About Town column for Patch, and now he's everywhere. Have a hot tip on an event in Hoboken? Send an invitation, questions and comments too, to firstname.lastname@example.org, and peep his tweets @alanskontra.