Cheers May 2013

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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SCENE By Liza B. Zimmerman Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant offers flights to encourage guests to sample its vast draft selection. E mployees at tech companies like Facebook and Google hardly need restaurants near their places of employment, given the multiple, in-office venues serving every imaginable kind of food day and night. What they do need is a local bar that offers great beers and a spot to socialize and even get some sunshine. Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant seems to deliver on all fronts. Since Steins opened two months ago, owner/beer curator Ted Kim says the Mountain View, CA-based restaurant has been so busy that the wait time on a weekend night can run up to two and a half hours. He estimates that about 6,000 guests visited the restaurant during its opening weekend of March 28-31. The response has been so overwhelming that Steins had to discontinue the policy of taking reservations, except for groups of 10 or more. What's the big deal? Well, it's literally big: The 12,000-sq.- ft. venue can seat 300 inside and includes a large outdoor space. The rounded, barn-like beer hall boasts long wood tables and a bar flanked by tap handles on one side. A key challenge in dealing with such a large space is training a staff of more than 100 servers, Kim says. The waitstaff also has to keep up with Stein's beer menu, which changes weekly and seasonally. 16 | MAY 2013 The food menu, supervised by chef Colby M. Reade, focuses on seasonal, American comfort food; all the breads and pretzels are made in-house. Some of the offerings include a braised lamb shoulder with parsnip puree and kale for $19 and a dish called "Breakfast for Dinner," made with smoked pork belly, a poached egg and frisee, and priced at $15. Stein's Burger ($11), made from an in-house selected grind of short ribs and sirloin, is flying off the menu, Kim says. Grilled steaks, served on house-made ciabatt and priced at $12 have also been popular. Guests can also add items such as pork belly or a fried egg for $2. MICHELLE MIN A Beer Garden Blooms in Silicon Valley

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