If you think all that downtown Tulsa has been missing is a rowdy German beer hall that serves steaming hot homemade sausages and imported Bavarian pretzels, and features live music, well, fret no more, fraulein.
That void has been filled, schnell.
Local entrepreneur Elliot Nelson has struck again, this time with der Fassler Hall, which will open later this month on Elgin Ave. between 3rd and 4th Sts. The beer hall will become the latest component of Nelson's ever-increasingly international restaurant, bar and entertainment empire that started with McNellie's Pub in 2004 and has since grown to include El Guapo, The Colony, the Dilly Deli and Yokozuna. Nelson also plans to open the Dust Bowl bowling alley before the end of the year.
But Fassler Hall is scheduled to open its doors within a couple of weeks, Nelson said. The 3,000-square-foot building features a spacious main room with a vaulted banquet ceiling that Nelson knew would be perfect for a beer hall the first time he saw it.
"We went to take a look at the building, and it spoke to us," he said.
The name Fassler is Bavarian for keg maker, Nelson said -- an appropriate moniker, since Nelson's great-great-grandfather was a keg maker in Bavaria. Nelson said he chose the name after conferring with local brewer Eric Marshall, who had apprenticed at several breweries in Germany before returning to Tulsa and founding the Marshall Brewing Company in 2007.
"He gave me about a half-dozen Bavarian names that meant the same thing, but Fassler seemed to be the easiest for Oklahomans to pronounce," Nelson said.
Fassler Hall will feature 12 to 15 varieties of draft beer sold in liter mugs, along with five to eight varieties of sausages made in house, Nelson said. There will also be pretzels imported from Bavaria, topped with five varieties of mustard.
He said Fassler Hall also is intended to help his various enterprises have more of a live-music presence in the neighborhood. Nelson said The Colony's Brian Fontaine will book the performers, and the hall will open daily at 4pm.
Nelson said progress is being made on his other holdings in the neighborhood, as well. Yokozuna, an Asian restaurant and sushi bar located at 309 E. 2nd St., could have a distinctive new neon sign up as early as this week. He said the sign has been ordered, and he was awaiting delivery.
The neon sign will be the first to go up in the Blue Dome district after Nelson and Blake Ewing, another local entrepreneur who founded Joe Momma's Pizza at 112 S. Elgin Ave., convinced the City Council to adopt a measure permitting the signs in the district earlier this year.
Nelson said the sign was designed only after some extensive engineering studies were conducted to make sure it could withstand an Oklahoma thunderstorm.
"If we have a tornado, strap yourself to that sign," he said, laughing. "It's not going anywhere."
Additionally, the holiday season could see the opening of the Dust Bowl at 211 S. Elgin, Nelson said. He anticipated receiving his building permit this week, with construction beginning the week after that. "We're hoping to be open by Christmas," he said.
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