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Der Rathskeller Features New Food, Same Comforting Feel

The renovated Rathskeller is perfect for everything from studying to meeting friends for lunch.

The renovated Rathskeller is perfect for everything from studying to meeting friends for lunch.

Gemütlichkeit (noun): a feeling of warmth, friendliness, good cheer and belonging. This German term has come to guide the role of Memorial Union’s der Rathskeller as a social space to gather and unwind in good company. With the opening of whole first floor of Memorial Union Jan. 17 the historic and beloved der Rathskeller is once again open to students, staff and community members.

Above all, while visitors will notice some new features in der Rath, its rich history and traditional German beer hall remains. MUR planners and builders have made sure to preserve the iconic details of the space, with improvements to ensure they last for years to come.

“Der Rathskeller is a very important space to our community,” said WU Communications Director Shauna Breneman. “We knew that der Rath needed to stay der Rath, and that is exactly what we have done.”

When people walk back into  der Rath, they will feel as though it’s the same place from their memories. The elaborate hand-painted murals still grace the walls and have been restored with help from the Wisconsin Historical Society. Other much-needed infrastructural improvements include upgrading the stage and lighting, increasing the amount of natural light in the space and improving the heating and air conditioning systems for guests’ comfort. These updates ensure the existence of der Rathskeller for generations to come.

In addition to these infrastructural updates, der Rathskeller’s menu has gotten a makeover. It features a wider variety of pub grub, new shareable appetizers and the long-awaited return of the most important meal of the day. Yes—der Rath has brought back breakfast food, including cinnamon apple French toast, breakfast sandwiches, eggs and omelets.

According to Carl Korz, Assistant Director for Dining Services, the kitchen has been improved to allow this wider range of food to be offered more quickly.

“Our signature stack burger is sure to be a hit, and there is a wider array of sandwiches and hot appetizers to be shared, in keeping with the communal feel of the space,” Korz said. “Colossal warm, soft pretzels with dipping sauces will be added to the list.”

To conclude your hearty meal at der Rathskeller, the Daily Scoop has been revamped with some great upgrades. Its menu has expanded to include more sundaes and ice cream concoctions.

While classic Babcock ice cream flavors in sugar cones and waffle bowls are still available, a new menu item dubbed the “freshman 15” features a flight of ice cream on a paddle to allow guests to try smaller amounts of more flavors.

The “freshman 15” comes with “fifteen scoops of your choice of Babcock ice cream, five toppings of your choice, fresh whipped cream and a cherry, served with fifteen spoons so you can make some friends,” Korz said.

Story by: Ellie Borstad

Author: Ellie Herman

Ellie Herman is a senior at UW-Madison studying Journalism and Mass Communication and French. If she's not petting every dog at the Terrace, you can probably find her drinking massive amounts of coffee at Peet's in Memorial Union.

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