An oasis for beer-lovers is the brand-new Schatzi’s Pub & Bier Garden, newly opened and offering an assortment of beverages and food to go with it, at 202 Main Street in the heart of Poughkeepsie (the former address of Karma Lounge). “Our philosophy is offering great-tasting food at a reasonable price,” says owner Jeremy Phillips. “We have great customer service and great beers, also priced reasonably. Some places have one of those. We have all of it!”
Schatzi’s long, narrow space pulls you in, with impossibly high ceilings, all black-and-brown and exposed brick. The elegant-but-comfortable pub extends back past a long bar to a small dining area, and best of all, a lovely sprawling outdoor patio that seems delightfully out of place in the heart of Po-town. Outdoors are more exposed brick, weathered stone pavers underfoot, market umbrellas, plants aplenty, wrought-iron railings and an ample stone fountain. An upper level abuts a gorgeous tall stone wall that could be somewhere in Europe, all adding to the continental café mood and an I-can’t-believe-I’m-in-Poughkeepsie feeling.
Schatzi means “darling” or “sweetheart” in German, and owner Jeremy Phillips picked the name for two reasons: When he told friends that he was opening it up, they warned, “Jeremy, you’re going to be married to that place!” so he thought the name appropriate. Also, his father’s pilot training group in the 1970s was called “the Schatzis.”
The logo is an adorable skunk madly in love with a stein of beer nearly as big as he is. And what is pleasing pub décor without bracing brews to enjoy there? Phillips will be offering at least four German brews, available in liters and half-liters. On offer at opening were many assorted selections, many from closer to home, including Poughkeepsie brewery Sloop’s Red C that is filtered through a tall hops-filled cylinder – a hop Randall – just before serving.
“It’s like steroids for hops and beers,” Phillips says. “No one else around is doing it.”
Many of Schatzi’s beers come from further afield, and from one of the 15 taps you might find a coppery Hofbrau Maibock ($7), Racing Dog Pearl Necklace, Ommegang Hennepin ($7), Harpoon Cider, He’Brew Double Rye IPA or Captain Lawrence Kolsch. Of course there is also a broad variety of wines for any beer-eschewing oenophiles in the party.
To go with the beer are many creative dishes perfect for beer-pairing, mostly locally sourced and house-assembled, according to charming waiter Jacob. One worthy exception to house-made are the buttery pierogies stuffed with potato and creamy/tangy farmer cheese from Helena’s of Kerhonkson (three for $7). Other starters include meaty, herby, hand-cut frites with aïoli ($5), “grown-up tater tots” with pork belly ($7), warm pretzel sticks with cheddar beer fondue that at least one patron was oohing and aahing over, Reuben sliders ($8), fried dill pickle chips, wings, soups (think cheddar/beer or potato/leek) and salads, such as a grilled Caesar ($7). Sandwiches come with German potato salad and pickle; one of note is a Duck Confit Grilled Cheese extravaganza of slow-cooked duck, cracklings, caramelized onion, roasted oyster mushrooms, grilled asparagus and melted brie on a toasted brioche ($12).
You’ll also find creative versions of burgers (eight-ounce La Frieda blend) and dogs (locally made, German-style), a grilled veggie sandwich ($10) and sandwiches like a pork schnitzel club and beer-poached bratwurst ($8). A few simple offerings for kids under 12 cost five bucks. Sweets to top things off include a warm apple tart with salted caramel sauce or Black Forest chocolate cake with raspberry coulis (either $6).
Culinary Institute of America grad Tim Farley is at the helm in the kitchen. “He’s the brains behind the menu,” Phillips says.
Because of the big variety of beers offered, you’ll find everything from authentic German fare to more creative American items like chicken wings with a chili rub: things that go perfectly with the American craft beers. The current menu will soon be supplemented with nightly specials with a German theme, from schnitzel to sauerbraten, Phillips adds.
For an impressive beer selection and perfect hearty fare to pair with it, try Poughkeepsie’s newest addition to the choices of places to go for a bite and brew, this one with a generous portion of pure European atmosphere. On a lovely late-summer day or night (or late night), there’s likely no better place to be than that sprawling patio, and for cozy/cool ambiance the bar indoors fits the bill as well.
Find Schatzi’s Pub & Bier Garden at 202 Main Street in Poughkeepsie or at (845) 454-1179. Current hours are Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 4 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 4 a.m.