Those acquainted with Rhein Haus are probably most familiar with its Capitol Hill location—the 10,000 square-foot slice of Bavaria serving up house-made sausages and pretzels. Or maybe they've been to one of its younger Tacoma or Denver locations, and know about the indoor bocce ball courts that run just $5 a head for an hour of play time. For half a decade, the chain's been operating in metropolitan areas that contradict its secluded, European theme, but all that's about to change: The business is opening a new location in Leavenworth, Washington's faux Bavarian village, located smack-dab in the center of the state.
The new location won't have bocce ball, but they're making up for it with a 3,000 square-foot biergarten deck that can hold around 170 people, so we forgive them. The second-story deck will have heated floors, big tables with built-in fireplaces, and unobstructed mountain views, so patrons can sit back and pretend the Washington Cascades are actually the jagged, eternally snow-capped Bavarian Alps.
The inside is shaping up to be just as lavish: a two-story, 3,700 square-foot lodge capable of seating 128. In true beer hall fashion, the whole place will be adorned with wooden skis, German flags, mounted elk busts, et cetera.
The drink menu is as one would expect in a place that prides itself on its Germanic influence—a crash course for the beer connoisseur in training. A dozen authentic German brews will be on tap, with support from local breweries trying their hand at the German style (heavy on the hops, heavy on the malt). In 2016, Germany ranked fourth in the world in per-capita beer consumption, so we have reason to believe they know what they're talking about.
All in all, Rhein Haus is a fun take on a centuries-old theme, reveling in the theatrics of playacting life in one of the most gorgeous places in the world. Is the full-size taxidermied elk on the wall a little over the top? Maybe. But the amount of work the owners put into immersing patrons in a foreign culture is precisely what brings people in. And in Leavenworth, that culture already exists inside and out. In a lot of ways, it kind of feels like Rhein Haus is finally setting up shop in one of the few places it can rightfully call home.