It may seem ridiculous for me to get so upset over the closing of a bar, but I am having a difficult time with Stubbies & Steins’ announcement that they will be closing their doors on September 27th.
For anyone unfamiliar, Stubbies & Steins was at the forefront of bringing great beer to Gainesville. Before Tall Paul’s, House of Beer, World of Beer, Swamp Head, and First Magnitude, there was Stubbies Shirt Pub. What began as the vision of Gar and Berkeley Hoflund has turned into a place that holds a special place in the hearts of many, including myself. Boasting over 400+ bottles, a massive amount of taps, and serving great German food, Stubbies & Steins is in a class of its own.
This pub taught me everything I know about beer. There have been a great many nights there, and I even joked to friends that it was my Cheers. You know, where everybooody knows your naaaaame. From the first time that I had a Radler, poured by the lovely Heather McReynolds back in the day, to the countless delicious food specials by Chef Kevin Keller, Jay and the staff always ribbing me, to the warm smile and welcome you would always get from Berkeley, and most of all, the sagely advice from the late Gar Hoflund, who could always be found at his favorite spot at the bar. This became more than a bar to me. I will truly miss it with every ounce of me.
I often complain about some of these other beer pubs in town that lack the character and warmth of Stubbies & Steins. They are the standard in which I judge a pub. Besides, there is no other place in town where you can get those delicious pomme frites with a side of mayo or curry ketchup. I wish it was an internet prank, or this was some terrible dream as a result of my fever, but it’s real. A week from now, my favorite bar in town will be closed. If you haven’t had a chance to go, please do. There’s nothing else in Gainesville like it.
Cheers to you Berkeley, cheers to the entire Stubbies team, and cheers to more than a decade of bringing great beers to Gainesville. It won’t be the same without you.