Hipsters Keep German Bar Alive in Queens

Brian Questa at Gottscheer Hall for the final match of the 2014 World Cup between Germany and Argentina. (Photo by Eric Jankiewicz via Queens Courier)

Brian Questa at Gottscheer Hall for the final match of the 2014 World Cup between Germany and Argentina. (Photo by Eric Jankiewicz via Queens Courier)

It operated in the red for over a decade, but Gottscheer Hall in Ridgewood, Queens, is now in the black and seeing gold. The German bar has survived 90 years but these days, it’s relying on a new demographic – hipsters.

On July 13, for the final match of the World Cup between Germany and Argentina, the bar was filled with patrons, described by reporter Eric Jankiewicz in a Queens Courier story, as “either older and of German descent or younger and attracted to the German appeal of the bar and grill.” The dwindling numbers of the older generation who once contributed to the prosperity of the bar are giving way to the so-called “hipsters” keeping it afloat these days.

For 15 years, turning a profit eluded Gottscheer Hall, according to the bar’s secretary Roland Belay. But in 2012, thanks to the patronage of younger, more affluent customers, the German business started making money again.

“The hipsters revived us,” Belay said. The German restaurant is celebrating its 90th anniversary this September but up until recently the business suffered a loss of patrons. Belay attributes this loss to the fact that the German immigrants who drank at the bar are getting older and dying off. The last big wave of Germans to the neighborhood was during WWII when the war displaced many Germans from the Gottschee region, now part of Slovenia.

“Every year we get fewer and fewer Germans coming here,” Belay said. “So we have to look forward and it seems like the hipsters will keep this business alive.”

Read more at Queens Courier, where Jankiewicz speaks to some of the newer crowd, one of whom acknowledges the “irony of contributing to Ridgewood’s gentrification.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*