- December 26, 2017
You could say that Kutztown Tavern on Main Street in Kutztown is a jack of all trades… a one-stop-shop. The facility, which houses a restaurant, brewery, bottle shop, nightclub and two banquet spaces, truly has something for everyone. Matt Grider, owner of Kutztown Tavern, sat down with us to discuss all that Kutztown Tavern has to offer.
Heady Times (HT): Can you tell us about the history of your business?
Matt Grider (MG): In 1998, we opened the bottle shop and Shorty’s, the nightclub in the basement. The next year we opened the restaurant, which included banquet spaces on the first and second floors and the brewery, Golden Avalanche Brewing Company. At that time, you had to know what style of beer you wanted to brew in order to purchase equipment, because it was all specific to the style. We decided to brew German-style lagers according to the Reinheitsgebot and sourced all of the ingredients from Germany.
HT: What kind of atmosphere have you cultivated here over the past 20 years?
MG: Casual, warm, entertaining… Families come with their children, we have business events in the banquet rooms, of-age college kids come to have a good time. Our restaurant menu caters to just about everyone. We give equal attention to all of the different aspects of our business and in doing so have developed a very diverse customer base.
HT: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since opening?
MG: Alcohol sales trends. When we first opened, beer was about 80% of our alcohol sales and liquor/spirits/wine was 20%. Now those statistics are flip-flopped. Flavored liquors have really changed the landscape with millennials, which is a huge part of our business. Also, the changing habits of the consumer have the restaurant business suffering as a whole. With so many delivery options and subscriptions for gourmet meals that you can cook at home, people don’t want to come out as much.
HT: What does Kutztown Tavern offer beer drinkers that they might not find elsewhere?
MG: We have a variety of German-style beers that we brew in-house available in the restaurant and takeout, along with a large selection of commercial beers. We have a loyal food following that offers something to everyone and caters to changing tastes. Although business might not be booming like it used to, we have not cut quality in any aspect of our business.
kutztowntavern.com • 272 West Main Street, Kutztown, PA • 610-683-9600