Offbeat L.A.: Sauerkraut, Stout and a Side of Surreality… Old World Village in Huntington Beach

Old World Village in Huntington Beach (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Old World Village in Huntington Beach (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

We are living in a time that is moving much too quickly. Technology is always one step ahead of us, and the gathering and processing of information comes at us from all directions, pretty much non-stop. Our outside environment, controlled by corporate chains and the money people, is creating an acceptance of homogeny. It is easier to built 5 identical clone restaurants, than to put originality into one unique one. I know on some level we all see this, all feel this, although we get caught up in convenience. We frequent the clones, because they are available, because they simplify things. I think the backlash to this is shown in people’s love for vintage restaurants. This love is not only born out of nostalgia, but birthed on some level from our own soul’s rebellion. My mission with Offbeat L.A. is to highlight the originality that is often overlooked, right under our noses, to showcase what is available to visit today. These are things we might lose if proper attention is not paid. These are things that are special and should not be left to chance.

The Village (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

The Village (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Old World Village in Huntington Beach is one of those special places. It was built in 1978, as Orange County’s answer to Torrance’s Alpine Village, a European-styled collection of shops and a German-themed restaurant which opened a decade earlier. Old World Village was the realization of a dream by German immigrant, Josef Bischof, who had settled in the United States in 1952, deciding to recreate the quaint architecture of his homeland. Bischof created 50 shops in Huntington Beach with a Hansel and Gretel romanticism, including a church, a motel and a rather large and impressive restaurant. Picturesque cobblestone pathways were laid to lead visitors through this 9-acre village of Bavarian-style boutiques, all with living quarters above them. Imported lanterns and 70 painted murals were installed to reflect a fairytale vision of Europe once upon a time

Just one of the many rooms of the Old World Restaurant (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Just one of the many rooms of the Old World Restaurant (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

In the pub (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

In the pub (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

The hub of social activity is definitely the restaurant, and it is quite impressive. It is downright labyrinthian, with multiple rooms, a massive banquet hall with stage, an authentic pub featuring a large selection of German beer and an outdoor beer garden, including shuffleboard tables. Extremely popular starting in September for the Oktoberfest season, its kitschiness extends all year round with monthly Dachshund Races held on Sunday afternoons. Serving a healthy selection of German dishes, including bratwurst, sauerbraten, red cabbage, potato pancakes, wiener schnitzel and apple strudel, their German beer selection is also top notch. Live entertainment is often featured, and, of course, OomPah Pah bands during the Oktoberfest season. During July and August there are special festivals including German Heritage Day and Plum Fest. Check the Old World calendar for dates. The original owner, Josef, still resides at Old World, though the village is now run by his children. Make a point of visiting this cool and authentic piece of Southern California. It is perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon with the family or for a fun adventure with friends.

The author channeling her inner Frauline (photo by Thom Kreuzer)

The author channeling her inner Frauline (photo by Thom Kreuzer)

 

Old World Huntington Beach: 7561 Center Ave., Huntington Beach, CA 92647; (714) 895-8020.

OW 2

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the bands that have played Old World Restaurant (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Some of the bands that have played Old World Restaurant (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

The banquet hall (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

The banquet hall (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Another room in the restaurant (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Another room in the restaurant (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

The front of the restaurant and attached food market (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

The front of the restaurant and attached food market (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

A unique experience... Old World Restaurant (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

A unique experience… Old World Restaurant (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

About Nikki Kreuzer

Nikki Kreuzer has been a Los Angeles resident for more than half of her life. When not working her day job in the film & TV industry, she spends her time over many obsessions, mainly music, art and exploring the oddities of the city she adores. So far she has written 100 Offbeat L.A. articles, which she started in 2013 while writing for The Los Angeles Beat. She has also been published in the LA Weekly, Oddee.com, Twist Magazine, Strobe and Not For Hire. Nikki is also is a mosaic artist, working actor and published photographer. As part of the band Nikki & Candy, she plays bass, sings and is co-writer. Find Nikki & Candy music on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and other music sites. Nikki is currently working on her first novel. Please “like” the Offbeat L.A. Facebook page! For more Offbeat L.A. photos & adventures follow @Lunabeat on Instagram.

This entry was posted in Oddball Architecture, Offbeat & Kid Friendly, Offbeat L.A. Restaurants. Bookmark the permalink.