Hofbräuhaus announces opening date in Belleville

Hofbrauhaus sets new date to open

The Hofbrauhaus in Belleville has been under construction since 2015 and is now scheduled to open on Feb. 26.
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The Hofbrauhaus in Belleville has been under construction since 2015 and is now scheduled to open on Feb. 26.

The Hofbräuhaus German restaurant and brewery off Illinois 15 in Belleville had planned to open in late January but announced Wednesday that it now plans to open Feb. 26.

“We know we said late January — unfortunately, we won’t make that goal,” the restaurant said in a news release. “We’re working hard every day to open as soon as possible, but some things are outside of our control. We’ll be serving up the area’s best beer and German food within a matter of weeks.”

The restaurant has hired about 160 employees, and applications are still being accepted.

In December, the Hofbräuhaus announced that it would be open in late January. The developers’ original target date to open was June 1, 2016. Several other self-imposed deadlines had not been met as well.

Chuck Keller, of Effingham, and son Chane Keller are developing the restaurant modeled after the Munich, Germany-based Hofbräuhaus, which traces its roots to 1589.

Construction on the $12 million restaurant and brewery began in 2015.

This one will be the eighth Hofbräuhaus in the country, and the Belleville location will be the largest one in the United States with room to host 1,100 people at a time between the beer hall, private room and outdoor beer garden, according to the Hofbräuhaus.

The Hofbräuhaus also announced Wednesday that work on the restaurant is still underway.

The beverage distribution system from Gruber in Germany has not yet been installed. A point of sale system is also being installed, and the last part of wiring in the kitchen still needs to be finished, the news release said.

To pave the way for the Hofbräuhaus, the city approved a development agreement to give the Kellers up to $32.36 million in tax incentives based on revenue generated by businesses in the complex across from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.

The Kellers have proposed building hotels and other restaurants on the site, but work on those projects have not started. Also, the Jack Flash convenience store chain has said it will build a store on the site, but construction has not yet begun. A Kansas City man had proposed building a soccer park next to the Hofbräuhaus, but those plans came to a halt after the developer died in 2016.

Mayor Mark Eckert has noted that the Kellers have not received any tax incentives yet because the incentives are based on revenue produced by businesses that are in operation.

The Belleville City Council also agreed to spend $2.42 million to extend sewer lines to the site.

Sharon Valentine, of the St. Clair County Health Department, said an inspection must be conducted in the Hofbräuhaus before it opens, but the inspection has not yet been scheduled.

Belleville Fire Chief Tom Pour said the fire-suppression sprinkler and fire alarm systems have passed inspection.

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