Toll roads prompt Portsmouth’s Bier Garden to open second location in Virginia Beach

The new location will feature a more open floor plan and cathedral like ceilings, modeling more like a Fest Haus than a Garden. (Southside Daily Photo/courtesy of Stefanie Osfolk Brown)
The new location will feature a more open floor plan and cathedral like ceilings, modeling more like a Festhaus than a Garden. (Southside Daily Photo/courtesy of Stefanie Osfolk Brown)

VIRGINIA BEACH — The Bier Garden has called Portsmouth home for the past 21 years, serving as a watering hole for people from all over the Southside.

And get this: It’s opening a location in Virginia Beach.

With the introduction of toll roads in February 2014, traffic steeply declined from Norfolk and Virginia Beach, said Stefanie Osfolk Brown, owner of the Bier Garden’s new location in Virginia Beach.

Brown’s parents currently run the original location in Portsmouth but because of their old age, Brown and her brother are taking over as owners for the Virginia Beach location.

The restaurant, a family-owned establishment, received a lot of feedback from those who lived on the other side of the Midtown and Downtown Tunnel Tolls saying they missed the restaurant and wanted another location opened up on the other side of the tolls, she said.

“We always considered opening a second one,” Brown said, “But the timing never matched up.”

Well, the timing did finally match up and the Virginia Beach location is set to open in mid-January on 2272 West Great Neck Road.

The Virginia Beach Festhaus

The layout of the new facility will be a bit different than Portsmouth’s, Brown said.

While Portsmouth was a work-in-progress, adding on to the restaurant piece by piece over the years, the Virginia Beach location will open with all the same facilities at once.

The only major change will be the structure of the building and the absence of the large gift shop.

Since the Virginia Beach location is set up like one big room, it will have more of a Festhaus feel to it, Brown said.

The menu will largely remain the same with the exception of a few tweaks to some dishes, making them platter-sized to match the communal eating feel of the new location.

They will also be expanding their vegan and vegetarian options, she said.

But don’t worry, the beer will still be there.

The Bier Garden Festhaus will still have the 22 drafts and roughly 300 bottles of beer for customers to choose from, Brown said.

As of right now, Brown said while it was always the dream to open multiple locations they are going to see how this second spot goes before moving forward with another.

“Keeping our brand authentic is very important to us, and we don’t want loose that brand in the expansion,” Brown said.

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