How these restaurant veterans plan to stand out in Germantown’s crowded field

Jason Brumm knows there’s a lot of new restaurants coming to Germantown. But, the chef argues, his soon-to-open Von Elrod’s Beer Garden & Sausage House fills a key niche for the neighborhood’s residents and visitors.

“We’re not competing for your dinner reservation,” said Brumm, repeating a selling point often touted by his partner in the restaurant, Austin Ray, a restaurateur best-known for his M.L.Rose Craft Beer and Burgers chain.

Brumm and Ray have teamed up to give the thriving Germantown neighborhood a unique beer garden experience. The restaurant, set to open in time for the neighborhood’s annual Oktoberfest festival in early October, will occupy a renovated historic building at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Junior Gilliam Way, across the street from First Tennessee Park.

Brumm, who most recently served as director of culinary operations at the Goldberg brothers’ Strategic Hospitality, said he and Ray traveled across the country researching examples of the beer garden concept. Based on that research, he said, the duo is bringing the Nashville market a concept it doesn’t have, brought together in a way even the cities they visited hadn’t necessarily seen.

“There’s examples of this, but not all together,” Brumm said.

Von Elrod’s is a “beer garden that serves primarily sausage,” Brumm said, not just a restaurant that happens to have an outdoor patio with picnic tables where guests can drink beer. The menu will features 15 hand-cranked sausages, along with rotisserie chicken and fresh-baked pretzels, among other options.

Still, despite the emphasis on a true beer garden vibe, don’t expect the “Oktoberfest every day” experience you find at some German-inspired eateries. Yes, Brumm said, Von Elrod’s will go all out with its decorations for the upcoming fall celebration, but the rest of the year guests will be treated to a definitively “Nashville” experience, without over-the-top German decor.

Von Elrod’s represents an “old world idea,” Brumm said, “but a Nashville concept.”

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