Grosse Pointe Park – Here at Atwater in the Park, the beer is flowing, and the schnitzel is fresh and ready to eat. This German Style brewpub got its start thanks to Mark Rieth’s love of beer.
For Reith, his passion for beer started while he was in college. After moving to Boston he tried his hand at home brewing, and really enjoyed it. In 1997 he helped open up Atwater Brewery in Detroit’s Rivertown district. The brewery’s goal was to focus on German-style beers circa the 1850s. Atwater continued to grow, and about 7 years ago they took over a church in Grosse Pointe Park, and remade it into a brewpub, calling it Atwater in the Park.
“It was built in 1936,” explained Rieth. “We had an opportunity to come in and repurpose it, instead of it going away. We wanted to make sure we saved it, embraced it.”
They kept the main sanctuary basically the same, transforming the pews into booth-style seating and keeping all the stained glass. The ceiling is also made of cork, which worked really well for the acoustics in the restaurant. The pulpit has been turned into a mini brewery for them to test out new beer ideas and the old preschool was transformed into a private event space. The courtyard outside was transformed into a biergarten.
“I personally went over to Munich a few times,” said Rieth. “One of the things I loved over there is they had large biergartens everywhere... Beer is a vehicle to bring people together, from a community perspective, and in a biergarten you can do that.”
To match their German-style beers, they have a German-inspired menu. They have classics like chicken schnitzel and large soft pretzels with beer cheese and mustard, but they also have German-inspired dishes, like a brat on top of a burger, and bar food in general. They even have options for vegans including their vegan tacos.
Currently, you can dine inside their beautiful old sanctuary, outside in their lush biergarten, or order to-go. Atwater in the Park is located at 1175 Lakepointe Street in Grosse Pointe Park.
They are hosting a socially-distant Oktoberfest in their biergarten on October 3rd from noon to midnight. Masks and socially distancing will be enforced, and only 100 people will be in the space at a time. They will have games and pumpkin painting for kids. Special tappings and competitions will be available for adults. The Polish Muslims will be playing live music from 7pm- 10 pm. You can also celebrate with them virtually by getting Atwater Beer to-go and tagging them in pictures you post on social media, which they may share. For more information, visit their Facebook event page.