Blog: Oktoberfest NYC
It’s the same story every September, right? A handful of your freewheeling friends have flown to Germany for the grand celebration that is Oktoberfest, leaving you home jealously checking out their pictures on Facebook. Well readers, it’s time to kick that to the curb for good because Oktoberfest has officially come to New York City. The innovative folks at LIVEstyle Entertainment have launched this inaugural celebration smack dab in the “Big Apple” along with alcohol sponsorship from companies like Beck’s and Jägermeister. So instead of booking that last minute plane ticket, board the subway and take it to Penn Station to experience all the sudsy fun right here on your home turf. The LocalBozo crew made our way to the grand tent on Monday night to experience it all first hand.
As previously mentioned, all of this Deutschland cultural appreciation is going down in Midtown. The destination you have associated for so long as just a mess of office buildings and food carts has been virtually transformed into a Deutsch wonderland. A 6000 square foot tented beer garden has been erected in the outdoor plaza adjacent to popular Madison Square Garden bar Local West, providing an enormous party space. We arrived shortly after the garden space opened (Monday – Friday: 5pm – midnight) and the place was already buzzing with celebratory activity. Traditional German music can be heard from down the street as gorgeous Jägermeister girls welcome you to the party. These women also carry “skis” for patrons to take shots from. A shot that involves drinking and teamwork? We’re in!
Enjoy a few ski shots with your buddies but don’t forget that the real reason you’re here is beer. Oktoberfest NYC is the home to some of the most popular German-centric brews as well as the local favorites we have all come to love. Top German beers from Beck’s, St. Pauli Girl, and Lowenbrau will be on constant rotation served in either pints or in traditional steins inside of these massive pop-up style bars run by Lederhosen clothed bartenders. They are knowledgeable about the beers and work at that perfect Manhattan pace to insure speedy service especially during an event like this. The tent is also loaded with tables to share with friends if you make an advance reservation or otherwise you’ll be seated communally with strangers. During our first visit we opted for a Sam Adams seasonal brew, which happened to be their Oktoberfest. The seasonal ale really works well outdoors to pair with the brisk fall weather. Pints of this particular ale were $7 while an entire Stein will run you $13. Be sure to check with your bartender and servers about individual beer prices.
After all that sudsy goodness you’re going to need to feed a much deserved hunger. Luckily the “Oktoberfest” team has this on lock down. Bavarian delicacies that pair brilliantly with beer will be at your fingertips throughout the event. If you just want to have a simple nibble while you imbibe, go for a traditional Oktoberfest styled “Hot Pretzel” ($4), and be sure do dip it in plenty of mustard. If you have a bigger viking style appetite you can opt for a “Brat Sandwich” ($9) or “Knockwurst Sandwich” ($10). And to keep it super German you have to grab a side of “Sauerkraut” ($1.50) to get your stomach in the spirit as well.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to plan your visit to one of fall’s greatest ongoing events. But don’t delay. You only have until October 7th to experience Oktoberfest right here in New York City. Weekend visitors can enjoy 11am – midnight hours, paired with massive HD-TV screens playing football and German “Hoppelpoppel” brunch service available as well. So grab your hat, Lederhosen, and thirst for brews because the celebration is officially on. And the only thing that’s missing is you.
- Jay Rubin