Prost! With a last name like Ammermuller I know my heritage certainly can’t be disputed. While I’m far from home in New Jersey, I’m not far from Hoosiers sharing my same Lederhosen wearing, Schnitzel eating ancestors. With waves of German immigrants moving to Indianapolis between 1820 and 1890, nearly a quarter of Indiana’s population can claim German descent. Luckily for all locals and visitors, they brought with them their rich culture and formed many athletic, musical, and political clubs throughout the Circle City. Perhaps the most notable of these contributions is the beloved German restaurant and theatre the Rathskeller & Athenaeum.
The Athenaeum was originally named Das Deutsche Haus when it was built in 1893 for the Indianapolis Socialer Turnverein, as a “house of culture” where those of common lineage could gather and celebrate their homeland. It wasn’t until the anti-German backlash after World War I that the building was renamed the Athenaeum. This historic landmark is located on Massachusetts Avenue in the center of a community formerly known as Germantown.
Having been established in 1894, the Rathskeller can claim its title as Indy’s oldest restaurant still in operation today. This lively gathering spot finds its home in the basement of the historic Athenaeum building, and is seen as a cross between a quaint inn in the Bavarian countryside and a loud and energetic beer hall in Munich. Their award winning menu features authentic German cuisine like Jaegerschnitzel and Sauerbraten, along with an extensive beer and wine menu. So come inside this cozy and quaint restaurant, or enjoy a nice brew in their Biergarten during the milder months for an authentically German night you’re sure to remember at the “best German restaurant in Indy.” At the Rathskeller Oktoberfest is celebrated all year round with great food, authentic brews, and live music.