For most Marist students, as well as college students throughout the country, the first word associated with beer, is cheap. College students are constantly looking for the best and most penny-pinching deals at local bars. Schatzi’s Pub & Bier Garden seems to have found a way to break that stereotype, providing a traditional German Bier Garden along with a craft beer bar, located right in downtown Poughkeepsie.
Combining traditional American pub food along with German cuisine, upon entering Schatzi’s you quickly feel transported out of Poughkeepsie. A long and narrow bar combined with a handful of tables in a small dining room Schatzi’s has the feel of many ordinary bars. That is until you step outside. Outside you surrounded by tables and a stone patio, giving you a feeling you aren’t in Poughkeepsie anymore. Along with half a bar and grill, Schatzi’s Bier Garden is truly unique experience for local pub-goers.
Opening up in the second week of August this year, owner Jeremy Phillips acknowledges this wasn’t his original plan for Schatzi’s.
“I started with this back in 2008 and my first idea was full fledged German restaurant. Then I started to see more craft beer and enjoyed it more, and I wanted to find an idea that worked with both. Then this space opened and we were able to make it work.”
Phillips, who previously worked as a district manager for a retailer before jumping into the restaurant business, Tim Farley a Culinary Institute of America graduate to serve as his executive chef.
“I thought we were going to just be regular pub, just with some good food, but Tim puts out such amazing food were quickly developed into a full blown restaurant,” Phillip said.
Monday through Thursday Schatzi’s has its full menu with regular items such as grown up tater tots, Bavarian hot pretzels, the Schatzi Burger and a beer poached bratwurst sandwich.
“Two of my favorite have to be the Glenn’s Rueben and the Duck Confit Grilled Cheese,” says Schatzi’s Sous Chef Kevin Gerth. While Farley created most of what is on the menu, both chef’s work together to continually add and create new items for customers.
On Fridays through Sundays the menu changes over to a pub fare menu, featuring many of the starter dishes from the full menu along with frankfurter sliders, sauerbraten meatballs and wings, to name a few items.
While the traditional German food and American pub favorites are staples to Schatzi’s success, the variety of craft beer and German beer is what separates Schatzi’s apart from other local pubs and bars.
“We always have anywhere between four and five German beers and then fill the rest with craft beers,” Phillips says. “We have 15 different taps and always a couple of different stouts, porters and IPA’s. Very rarely do we put the same beer on twice.”
Phillips himself hand selects all of the beers chosen to be used, sitting down every Tuesday and looking through the inventory, constantly trying to find the right mix for his customers. A local favorite featured at Schatzi’s is Sloop Brewing Company located right in Poughkeepsie. This past weekend Sloop took home Best in Show at the Hudson Valley Craft Beer Festival for their Sloop Red C, a red IPA.
“The guys over at Sloop are good friends of mine so I’m happy to support them by putting them on tap, especially being a local Poughkeepsie brewery,” says Phillips.
The selection of beer is not the only diversity Phillips see’s at Schatzi’s.
“We really do have a mixed crowd coming into Schatzi’s. We get the upperclassmen from Marist, CIA (Culinary Institute of America) kids and then a regular mix of 25-40 something’s.”
Local resident John Lotocky was quick to attend upon hearing about Schatzi’s opening.
“I had heard about it a couple of months before it officially opened and I thought it could have some potential, says Lotocky. “After my first time coming I’ve been here almost once a week since. You just don’t see to many of these places in Poughkeepsie.”
Marist senior Emily Barr shares a similar opinion.
“Since turning 21 my friends and I have been venturing away from cheap college beers and trying new craft beers instead, says Barr. “Schatzi’s is an awesome place to do that and enjoy the fall weather outside in a fun and relaxing atmosphere. It is such a great change to the usual bar scene at Marist.”
With Fall quickly fading away and Winter fast approaching, Phillips has already found a solution to keep the outside Bier Garden alive and hopping – a heated tent. Centered directly in the main patio, the tent itself can seat around 25-30 people. Phillips already has his eyes on a couple of special events in the winter.
“I want to be able to host some sort of beach party right in the middle of some huge snowstorm,” says Phillips. “I want people to experience something they would not normally get a chance too.”
Besides beach parties, Phillips also has plans for cornhole tournaments and live music throughout the winter months.