Iconic Austin beer garden snapped up by new operators with big plans

Iconic Austin beer garden snapped up by new operators with big plans

Scholz Garten
The Frank team has something new in store for historic Scholz Garten.  Photo courtesy of Scholz Garten

Changes are underway for Austin's historic Scholz Garten. Local gourmet hot dog restaurant, Frank, will take over operations June 1.

The Frank team was selected out of 30 potential operators who responded to an open call put out by Austin Saengerrunde, which owns the property, in 2015. "We're just looking for someone to come in and take [Scholz] history and run with it," Reagan Roland, development director of Austin Saengerrunde, told CultureMap at the time. 

Scholz Garten was founded in 1866 by German immigrant August Scholz. The new operators promise that the legacy, most of the staff, and some signature offerings will remain the same.

"We're going to come in with an appreciation of what's been going on over the past couple decades and past 100 years," Frank co-owner Daniel Northcutt tells CultureMap.

Food was previously handled by Green Mesquite BBQ, with a large focus on burgers and barbecue, but that will change. Beginning in June, the food and beer lineup will have more German offerings. 

"We'll lean heavy into German fare," says Northcutt. "We're going to bring in some very authentic classic German comfort food, with a nod to Austin, Texas, and our neighbors to the south."

Expect more events to be added to Scholz's regular schedule of Longhorn watch parties and family-friendly affairs. The team plans to get Scholz more involved in the community, too, which means participating in festivals and events.

"The most exciting part of this entire ordeal is to be able to participate in a small part of a huge piece of Texas history," says Northcutt. "Scholz has been around for over 150 years. It's the oldest running business in the state of Texas and the longest running beer garden in America."

Updates, which include renovations to the space, will happen slowly. "We will do some light remodeling. We've got some ideas for the actual beer garden. This will be something that happens over the next few years. We're not going to crash in and make a lot of huge changes."