WATERLOO — A traditional German beer garden is taking shape in Newton’s Park in downtown Waterloo.
Downtown developer Jim Walsh is hoping the corner of East Fourth and Sycamore streets will be bustling with beers, brats, polka tunes and fellowship before the end of May.
“The concept is a take on the outdoor gardens in Milwaukee which, for many years, have been a gathering place for friends and families after work and weekends,” Walsh said. “Some room to play, time to visit with neighbors and just a nice place to sit and relax.”
Iowa Irish Fest goers know Walsh is more often found in a kilt than lederhosen, but he said the German-themed facility has ties to his roots.
Anton’s Garden, named after Walsh’s maternal great-grandfather, who emigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1852, will be a fenced outdoor area with tables and a small counter service building dishing out German bratwursts, deluxe hot dogs, Bavarian hot pretzels, German beers and other beverages.
Visitors would be allowed to bring their own food, too, and would sit at long, shared tables from the traditional German beer gardens. Live entertainment would use the park’s gazebo.
Special events will be welcome as long as they don’t interfere with the gemütlichkeit, a German word encompassing the idea of a state or feeling of warmth, friendliness and good cheer.
The garden, which would be open to the public Friday through Sunday, is a venture of Four East Dining, which operates Jameson’s Public House, Newton’s Cafe and Brown Derby Event Center.
Four East Dining is a subsidiary of Walsh’s JSA Development, which owns Newton’s Park and has been redeveloping numerous downtown properties.
Contractors have already begun working on the garden, which will have seating for about 120 guests. The small service building with a Bavarian design is already built and should be trucked to Newton’s Park on Monday. Signs, fencing and other decorations are still being designed.
Walsh expects Anton’s Garden to be open in about a month, and it will remain open through the end of September, closing with an Octoberfest event. It will be managed by Adam Delorbe.
The beer garden will be disassembled at the end of the season so Newton’s Park can be used for the annual Christmas tree.