By MIRIAM FINDER ANNENBERG
Journal & Topics Reporter
Parkway Bank Park staple Hofbrauhaus will celebrate its fifth year in Rosemont on Saturday (Jan. 20) with a parade in the beer hall and a keg tapping, replicating the event undertaken by the mayor of Munich to signify the start of Oktoberfest.
“It’s a big deal,” said Ed Jacobi, Hofbrauhaus master of ceremonies. “[It] becomes a big deal to look back and reflect on something that’s become quite successful.”
Jacobi said he is looking forward to the celebration. His job is to run the party at the beer hall, which will feature an authentic 40-piece German bugle band.
“I like to call myself the person in charge of Gemütlicheit,” he said. “There’s no literal translation for it, but what is means is the good time people have together with music, song, drinks and food.”
Jacobi said Hofbrauhaus has had a successful run thus far in Rosemont. Hofbrauhaus officials originally selected Rosemont because of their ability to build a large, 20,000-square-foot establishment including a beer hall, restaurant and brewery with adjacent free parking. Given the space and parking available at Parkway Bank Park, Hofbrauhaus opened in Rosemont as one of just seven U.S. locations officially associated with Munich’s original Hofbrauhaus.
Jacobi said the Hofbrauhaus management and employees have enjoyed becoming a part of the Rosemont and Parkway Bank Park communities.
“Whenever I go to any of the other establishments in the park or even when I see Mayor Brad Stephens, he says hello to me by first name,” he said. “We all feel somewhat connected and we know that all the businesses help each other.”
Jacobi said the Hofbrauhaus clientele is broken down into three main categories: the tourists stopping by due to the close proximity to O’Hare Airport; the convention attendees looking for a place they can go for a good meal and entertainment at the end of the day; and the local community members.
Hofbrauhaus first experienced overflow crowds when it first opened, but as the crowd has balanced out, staff refined the business to fit the clientele by taking into consideration the food and music they seem to prefer.
“We continue to grow and evolve to meet the community’s needs,” Jacobi said.