“awesome beer garden and huge beer selection”
The Black Forest Inn is a rarity among Twin Cities' restaurants. Open for 41 years, the business has continuously changed in large and small ways. So not only is its lifespan longer than most restaurants, indeed most businesses, it is thriving because each change brings in new customers and creates new opportunities for the business. The Black Forest Inn opened on May 15, 1965 by Erich Christ and his brother Gerhard. "I was a cook and I wanted to make a million dollars", Says owner Erich Christ of that time. What he did, though, was create a Minneapolis institution, cherished by residents and visitors alike. What is the secret? How does a restaurant stay viable for 41 years, especially in these competitive times? "We have areas where we have been willing to constantly adapt and change", explains Joanne Christ, co-owner since marrying Erich in 1968. "We have been committed to an openness and flexibility with our business. We are always trying to see it from different angles and possibilities." When the business opened, the kitchen was in a closet—literally! The business was primarily a bar. Erich continually expanded the menu and the kitchen until they were serving classic German menu items including homemade sausage. The next big change happened in the mid-'70s. Erich and Joanne bought the property on which their business stood and the property next door. The businesses that had been there were no longer operating and it was an eyesore. Someone suggested a beer garden—like in Germany! The couple thought it was a good idea but was pretty sure it wouldn't be a money-generating improvement. Ultimately they decided that it would be good to invest a little in improving the area. They were right that it was an improvement, and lucky for them they were wrong about the business aspect. The beer garden quickly became one of the most popular dining destinations in the Twin Cities and since then it has won award after award for it's beautiful design and use of urban space. One of the unexpected effects of the patio was to begin a long transition of changing the Black Forest Inn from a bar/restaurant into a restaurant with a bar.
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Black Forest Inn
- Sun - Sat: 10:30 am - 12:00 am
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