Hamilton’s Black Forest Inn celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The European restaurant started its celebration last Thursday (Oct. 5) in conjunction with Oktoberfest, closing off half of Ferguson Street with picnic tables, food stands, and live music.
The landmark prepped its famous grilled sausages and schnitzel for visitors while performers dressed in traditional German clothing played folk songs down the street. Alongside the food and music, the inn also imported nearly 80 kegs of an Erdinger Oktoberfest brew from Germany, which is produced only once a year.
Doug Lecinski, the director of marketing at Honest Food Inc. said that after the Forge & Foster collaboration’s recent acquiring of Black Forest Inn, the company wanted to honour the inn’s anniversary by celebrating throughout the weekend.
“Tonight’s sort of the kickoff,” he said. “We’re hoping this weekend’s going to be very large and hopefully the first of many downtown Oktoberfests here at the Black Forest Inn.”
Lecinski said that after Thursday’s traditional German night, the plan is to bring in more modern performers on Friday and Saturday to gain even more of a following.
To help with feeding the hungry crowds, Black Forest Inn partnered with Bonanza Bakery and set up a food stand at the top of the street selling sandwiches, tarts, and puddings.
Michelle Mantini, general manager at Bonanza Bakery said that although the food may be from a different culture, it would still be a hit.
“We’re known all over Hamilton for our sandwiches so that’s what we’ve brought today,” she said. “We did some veal parmesan, chicken parmesan, and our famous Portuguese tarts that have nothing to do with Germany, but people love them!”
Plans are already in motion for Black Forest Inn’s next anniversary. Next year, Lecinski hopes to reserve the entirety of Ferguson Street, bring in more performers, draw in even more of a crowd, and have a more family-oriented Oktoberfest experience.