Monday, October 17, 2011

New in Jefferson City—the Munichburg Tavern!

NOTE: I UNDERSTAND THE MUNICHBURG TAVERN IS NOW CLOSED, but I'm keeping this posted anyway. --JULIE (JULY 2013)

After work, Sue and I went for a walk in our neighborhood, and we discovered that this is opening night for our new neighbor: the Munichburg Tavern!

We were thrilled when the Ecco Lounge, also in Munichburg, was refreshed and reopened—how cool is it to have a nifty, historic restaurant and lounge just a few blocks from your home?

Well, my friends, now we can multiply that coolness times two: the Munichburg Tavern’s got good food, plus they have something like twenty-six beers on tap. It’s good beers, too: microbrews and imports. (They might have some mass-produced American big-name beers available, but I think they keep them hidden away in a back room.)

It’s too early for me (or anyone) to do an in-depth food review, since the place has just opened. But I can give you an idea of what the restaurant’s like.

Lots of wood in there: booths along the far wall, and high tables with bar stools. Exposed ductwork. Industrial-type brick walls and concrete floors that bounce the sound around (with much of a crowd, it will get noisy).

There’s a nice long bar on the east side of the room, with a chalkboard above it listing all the interesting beers available, along with the alcohol-by-volume numbers (in case you’re keeping track). They’ve got a terrific selection of brews, offering a wide range to suit everyone’s taste.

I gather that the beers will be changing somewhat, and that they will have a nightly special on some individual beer selection (tonight’s special was a Spaten Premium Lager). They have a printed beer menu available, which provides brief descriptions of each of the brews.

They said that whenever someone orders a German beer, they serve it in an authentic German mug. This is a Hofbräu mug!

I asked if they have any nonalcoholic beers available yet, and they said no—but that they will get some. (Well? I have to ask. I think every place that sells beer should offer at least one n/a beer option. Who wants a sody-pop or iced tea when everyone else is sipping beer?)

The food includes appetizers, burgers, brats, sandwiches (and sides), and pizza. And desserts. We started off with simple chips and salsa. Sue had a veggie burger (they offered us a choice of veggie burgers: Boca, black bean, garden, etc.—wow, that’s unusual to get a choice), and she got it with fries.

I had a bratwurst—served on a bun. Of all things, they offer a choice of brats—herb, cheese, or pineapple. A bit of kraut and mustard was served to the side. I selected sautéed veggies as my side; other choices include potato salad, coleslaw, fries, and so on.

(Sorry my pictures aren't better; the lighting was poor and my color-correction skills are abysmal. It looked much more appetizing than this!)

The pizzas looked pretty good, from what we saw on other people’s tables. The crust looked about medium thick, and it was cut into wedges (not the ubiquitous Jefferson City “square cut” pizza). Most of the topping choices were fairly routine, though artichoke hearts, feta, and bleu cheese go a bit beyond the standard.

Again, I’m just telling you all this to give you an idea of what they’re offering right now—I wouldn’t be surprised if they tweak the menu in coming weeks and months.

I should mention that everyone there was very friendly to us. And why shouldn’t they be? It was the first night, and I was there with a camera! But seriously, I do think they’ll treat you right when you go.

Here’s some more information: They have an area set aside for playing bocce ball! That game has gotten incredibly popular here in the capital city, in part because Prison Brews (a brewpub across town, over by the former prison) also has bocce courts and has partnered with the local Kiwanis to sponsor a bocce league.

There’s something like thirty bocce teams, now, here in this town! Profits, I understand, go to charitable causes such as the local Boys and Girls Club.

Now, because the same people who started Prison Brews are in charge of our new Munichburg Tavern, I suspect the courts here will spread “bocce fever” even more.

As we sat there munching and sipping, Sue and I kept marveling about how great it is to have another quality restaurant in our neighborhood. When we moved to Munichburg a decade ago, we had serious doubts about where the neighborhood was “headed.” But this happy, clean, sure-to-be-popular place is one more piece of proof that Munichburg’s moving in the right direction.

And speaking of “directions,” I know you’re thinking, “Now, where is it again—?” It’s at 418 West Elm Street, between Arris’s Bistro and Fechtel Beverage (the local Miller distributor). Oh, here: It’s easier to just draw you a map. . . . We’ll see you there!

Munichburg Tavern
418 W. Elm St.
Jefferson City, MO 65101

(You know, you can click on any of my pictures, and a bigger version should open up.)

Munichburg Tavern on Urbanspoon


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

I heard that there was a new place opening in that area. Good for you two, it's in walking distance too!

Zan said...

I'm looking forward to trying it!

Allison Vaughn said...

Very exciting to have more options in they have a wine list?

Julianna Schroeder said...

Thanks for the comments. I do hope this business does well. I understand that that part of the neighborhood might be in for some good news in the next few years.

Allison, they DO have a wine list, and it looks pretty good. I should have mentioned it. The restaurant is not as much of a "wine" place as it is a "brew" place, but I'm sure wine drinkers will find plenty to please them.

Thanks again,

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

We are go here tonight! 6/12, better late than never right!

Julianna Schroeder said...

So, what did y'all think of it? We've been back there some more times and found that we prefer it when it's not very busy--it's the echoing of the sound we don't much care for. Maybe we've wrecked our hearing with too many rock concerts or something. But in another way, the escalation of noisiness builds a feeling of "excitement" in places like that--so maybe it's a good thing.

What did you think?


Joe said...


This place is gonna die a painful death due to its awful ownership/management.

They close at random hours.
They overcharge and then refuse to make it right.

BUYER BEWARE! This dump really doesn't care about the customer at all. Spend your hard earned money elsewhere.

Julianna Schroeder said...

Hi, Joe,

Thanks for your comment. You must have had a really awful time, to make you write such a vociferous comment.

I have noticed that there are several other online reviews that complain about various aspects of this restaurant, but principally the service.

I have been there a few times since, and the food has been pretty good (using Jeff City standards), and the service friendly but, well, uneven.

I sure hope that the owners/managers of Munichburg Tavern are reading these reviews and taking them to heart, because I would really like them to strengthen their weak areas and succeed.

Joe, have you considered writing a letter, or speaking directly to the owners/managers of the Munichburg Tavern? (I realize you might have spoken to them when you were there...) Anyway, I find it's more useful to make suggestions in a friendly way; people are more likely to come around.

I should note that the above blog post was written based on our very first visit to the place, which happened to be on their opening night. You'll notice I didn't say much about the quality of the food or the service, because it's unfair to judge a place right when they've opened.

I do wish them success, but I agree that they're going to have to materially respond to complaints before they get an irreversibly awful reputation.

My own personal fear is that if they start getting hungry for business, they might morph into the kind of place that sells "buckets" of cheap beer--undoubtedly lucrative, but it would encourage the presence of riffraff in the area--and we don't need any more of those kinda places in our neighborhood (or the city).

Thanks again, Joe, for your comment. I hope that if you ever go back there and have a good experience that changes your mind, that you'll take the time to post another comment here saying so.


Anonymous said...

A new restaurant has opened in this location: Hoxton Tavern & Grill. It serves sandwiches, pasta, pizza, and beer. I went for lunch with a co-worker today and had very friendly, eager (almost too eager) greeting from the manager and then a satisfying meal. I had a spinach salad (spinach, egg, feta, tomato) and boneless buffalo wings, my companion had southwestern egg rolls and a small garden salad. It was lunchtime, so we didn't drink any beer, but they maintain an impressive range of taps. They have TVs hanging from the ceiling in a few places and the sandwich board advertised a Blues Special tonight for the hockey game. Happy hour daily from 2:00 to 8:00 PM.


Julianna Schroeder said...

Thanks for the update, JR! I'll have to get down there. I hope that whatever put an end to the M-burg Tavern won't rub off onto the new venture! Cheers!