A report by Dana Eastland. As we noted back in December, 120-year-old downtown German icon ~SCHROEDER’S~ sold and is reopening under the ownership of Andrew Chun and Jan Wiginton of Press Club. The new version of Schroeder’s opened its doors yesterday, Monday May 5th, and here’s a peek.
The new space, which was designed by BCV Architects, has maintained the cavernous feel of the original, and the fabulously quaint murals by Herman Richter have happily remained. The space is more sleek now, though, with long wooden tables that evoke a rustic beer hall, but with a modern perspective. There are three distinct areas: the bar and beer hall area in front, the main dining room, and a private dining room in back. Illuminated glass shelving serves as a partition between the different dining areas and the kitchen, and the shelves hold the beer steins from the original, so they’re still there to check out and marvel at. There are also industrial mesh curtains cleverly arranged to separate the private dining room from the main one, and the main dining room from the bar area.
And about that bar. It’s the original one, made of rosewood, and is serving a variety of cocktails, beer, and wine. The cocktails come from bar director Claire Jane Hunter, and each one contains at least one German ingredient. In some cases, that means you’ll find a sparkling riesling, like in the Big Apple (sparkling riesling, Leopold’s sour apple, Kuemmerling, pressed apple juice, salted apple chip), or a Radler (a radler is a beer-based cocktail) made with Andechser doppelbock. There are also many German liqueurs and brandies on the drink menu, including an old-fashioned made with German brandy in addition to rye. Take a look at all the options here.
The beer selection comes from cicerone Rich Higgins, and of course German beers are featured prominently, along with selections from California and the Czech Republic. There are 15 beers on tap, and as is to be expected with Higgins, they are intended to pair well with food. Look out for Maisel’s Weisse, a German hefeweizen, or Magnolia’s Kalifornia Kolsch; the beer list is right here. Wine comes from beverage director Mauro Cirilli of Press Club, and again, you’ll see many German options, along with choices from California and Austria. Rieslings are heavily represented, ranging from sweet to off-dry to dry, and all intended to pair well with the food. Here’s the bottle list, and here are the options by the glass.
The food comes from chef Manfred Wrembel, who previously worked at Plum and Incanto, and whose parents emigrated from Germany to California. His menu is rooted in German traditions, but also utilizes seasonal California ingredients. Look for appetizers like beets with goat cheese, honey, and pumpernickel crisps ($12), or potato pancakes with cheddar, beer, and apples ($11), or meatier choices like beef tongue with asparagus, capers, horseradish, and crème fraîche ($14). Entrées are meat-focused and hearty, including a Wiener schnitzel made with veal and served with celery root and fava beans ($24), or pork loin with sauerkraut, spelt, and mustard ($26). There is also a bar menu with a dry-aged cheeseburger ($15) and smothered fries with cheddar beer sauce, mustard seeds, and pickles ($10).
Hours are 4pm-10pm Tue-Sat this week, and moving forward will be Mon-Fri 11:30am-10pm and Sat 5pm-10pm. 240 Front St. at California, 415-421-4778.