Hofbräuhaus now plans fall opening in Belleville

The Hofbräuhaus under construction off Illinois 15 in Belleville will not be ready for customers until the fall, missing the developer’s original goal of June 1.

Developers also have not yet released the names of the hotels they plan for the site and work on a sports complex with 11 soccer fields is expected to start later than expected at the development across from the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.

“In any development or project of this size, you’re going to have delays and you’re going to have things that are unexpected,” said Dave Thorman of Kansas City-based Game On Sports Development, which is planning the sports complex.

Game On Sports Development had hoped to open its complex this fall but that opening could be delayed until 2017.

“We expected that that could happen. It’s nothing that concerns us,” Thorman said.

The Hofbräuhaus building contractor says visitors will be impressed once the 25,000-square-foot German restaurant and brewery opens.

“The entire feel of the interior is a very old world décor,” said Mike Christ, executive vice president of Impact Strategies of Fairview Heights.

“The architecture here is extremely unique. You just don’t build something like this every day.”

“There are only a handful of Hofbräuhaus locations in the entire United States. So this is going to be a very unique entertainment venue,” Christ said.

The dining hall will have 18-foot, vaulted ceilings and the exterior walls will top out at 54 feet high.

Brewery equipment has arrived in St. Louis from Vienna, Austria, and Christ said the brewing equipment will be assembled inside the restaurant while construction crews are still working on the building.

Christ said workers are currently installing steel structures on the building and next they will work on the floor base.

The Keller family of Effingham obtained the Hofbräuhaus franchise from the parent company in Munich, Germany.

Impact Strategies began construction late last year on the Hofbräuhaus, which is the first building under construction in the hotel, restaurant, convention center and sports complex valued at over $100 million.

Last year, aldermen approved tax incentives of $38 million on the project that the city estimates would produce about $1 million annually in sales tax revenue for the city once all phases are completed.

No word on hotel

Chane Keller said his family is still in talks with a hotel company and does not yet have an announcement on which chain will be featured in the complex.

The Kellers have said up to four hotels could be built on the site.

Families traveling to the sports complex for regional soccer and lacrosse tournaments are expected to stay in the Kellers’ hotels and then walk to their games.

The Kellers had scheduled a news conference on March 3 to announce the name of two hotels for the complex but instead they said they could not make the announcement because the chain was not ready.

Commission approves site plan

The city’s Planning Commission on Wednesday approved the site plan for the hotel, restaurant and convention center portion of the project.

The plan, which has spots for six restaurants in addition to the Hofbräuhaus, is expected to be considered by the City Council on April 18.

The plan has 1,352 parking spaces and exceeds the city’s landscaping requirements.

Four of the restaurant sites are near the Hofbräuhaus’ main entrance, which faces a 200-foot by 100-foot green space.

There are three spots for hotel buildings and one of the buildings is expected to feature two hotel brands. The building site plan for the Hofbräuhaus had been approved last year.