When it opened in December, after months of breathless speculation, the 4,500-square-foot Radegast Hall Biergarten was met with little fanfare. Perhaps, it seemed, that Williamsburg had reached its quota for kitschy bars, or that there were already enough places for locals to drink beer.
Two months in, however, it seems that even without the flavor-of-the-month crowd, Radegast — owned by Ivan Kohut, formerly head bartender at Astoria’s Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, his wife Joanna and partner Andy Ivanov — has become a stronghold for Williamsburg’s beer aficionados and perhaps those unwilling to brave the crowds at packed hipster haunts like the Levee, which sits across the street.
With an impressive selection of beer — 13 on draught, 18 German bottles and 16 Belgian bottles — a full bar, a lunch and dinner menu featuring steak, schnitzel, strudel and other Teutonic treats, and a separate kiosk for sausages and fries, the Bavarian-themed beer hall is like an amusement park for serious suds admirers. And with long rows of picnic tables and an army of waitresses wearing dirndls (those “Heidi”-style Alpine ensembles) to carry your pint, liter or pitcher of beer, they can gather en masse.
“It’s spacious but still cozy,” said Williamsburg resident Colleen Ryan. “It’s a more mature place than most in the neighborhood, and it’s nice trying different beers. There’s only so much Brooklyn Lager you can drink.”
And with summer — when the retractable roof will be put to use and the mobs will arrive — still months away, enjoying the heated hall is reason enough to yell out a hearty “Prost!”
Radegast Hall Biergarten (113 N. Third St. at Bedford Avenue in Willamsburg) accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. The bar is open Monday through Friday, from 5 pm to 4 am, and weekends, from 3 pm to 4 am. For information, call (718) 963-3973 or visit www.radegasthall.com.