I have a problem with Oktoberfest. I love German beer and German food. What bothers me is misuse of the term. The Munich Oktoberfest actually runs the last couple of weeks of September up until the first of October. In America it’s become a marketing ploy with little relation to the original festival, where “Oktober” = any day in October. Even so, my sister Glynda and I usually share an Oktoberfest at least once a year, and this time our scheduling just didn’t work out. So, we headed out to the Bavarian Pretzel Factory for a late October feast.
I had visited before, with mixed results. The first time I arrived at 6:30, just as they were closing. I had no clue that in their original location they weren’t open for dinner. 6:30 was just…odd. I finally did have lunch there with my friend Keith a couple of months ago and had prepared to do a write-up then. However, as we were finishing up I overheard our waitress telling another customer that they would soon move to a new location. I decided to hold off until I could visit the new place, since anything I wrote would soon be outdated.
Linda Sue Gschnitzer opened the restaurant on Woodruff Road several years ago, after moving to South Carolina from Bavaria in 2007. The original restaurant was a small storefront in an out-parcel row of stores in front of the Target on Woodruff Road. There were a few long tables, trying to evoke the spirit of the beer halls of Munich, but there really wasn’t much space for a restaurant.
When Haus Edelweiss closed for good this left an opportunity for BPF to expand. In fact, our waitress on that first visit had originally been at Haus Edelweiss, and I recognized her from there. The empty Italian Market location behind the Barnes and Noble on Congaree Road was available, so last month BPF moved into that space, easily quadrupling the size of the original restaurant. Along with the expanded space came expanded hours, and a large space for a retail outlet. From the looks of their website, it appears that Bavarian Pretzel Factory has plans to expand to more location.