From the sausages and pickles made in-house to the ornate chandelier made of steins, patrons of the new Bauer's Brauhaus will be hard-pressed to recognize its downtown Palatine location that long housed Christl's German Inn.
"We kept the front and back door and that's about it," co-owner Jason Bauer said. "The space required a lot of work."
The restaurant at 45 W. Slade St., which opens to the public Monday, Jan. 24, has been completely gutted and transformed. Gone is the greasy diner scene, as is the tree stump from Germany used as a surface on which to pound schnitzel in the kitchen.
Replacing them are more modern amenities such as several flat-screen TVs and a jukebox, as well as intricate ceiling work and a wooden bar that seats 19. There's also memorabilia such as old pictures that honor the Bauer family's roots, which can be traced back to Ulm, Germany.
"The vision for this place was Old World meets New World, and I think we accomplished that," said Bauer, 32, of Niles. "It's nice to pay homage to my ancestors."
The venture is a product of Bauer, his Aunt Judy, Uncle Gene and father, Robert. Jason Bauer went to culinary school at Kendall College and previously worked at Western Spring's Vie under the direction of award-winning chef Paul Virant. Bauer's Brauhaus also will benefit from the guidance of General Manager Carl Maier, 24, of Long Grove, whose entire family is from Germany.
Bauer said traditional German dishes will be familiar and yet more evolved, featuring organic, locally grown ingredients and a contemporary preparation. The sauerbraten, for instance, features marinated beef short ribs as opposed to a more economic cut of beef.
The owners put just as much thought into the ambitious beer selection, which includes about 30 different draft and bottle varieties, many of them German.
Open until 3 a.m. on the weekend -- four hours after the kitchen closes -- Bauer's Brauhaus likely will serve as a favorite drinking destination within the compact downtown area, attracting a younger clientele than Christl's.
Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday.
For more information, go to bauersbrauhaus.com.