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The rathskeller in Olten, Switzerland

Ratskeller (German: "council's cellar", historically Rathskeller) is a name in German-speaking countries for a bar or restaurant located in the basement of a city hall (Rathaus) or nearby. Many taverns, nightclubs, bars, and similar establishments throughout the world use the term.[1]

The word had been used in English since the mid-19th century,[1] with at least one New York restaurant calling itself a rathskeller in the 19th century.[2]

Notable Rathskellers in North America[edit]

The former Das Deutsche Haus in Indianapolis, today known as the Athenaeum, has served Bavarian fare since 1894

Das Deutsche Haus Ratskeller restaurant in Indianapolis, Indiana, received historic landmark status. Now called the Athenaeum, it has served Bavarian fare since 1894.

The Dakota Inn Rathskeller was opened in Detroit on August 1, 1933, by Karl Kurz, and is owned and operated by the Kurz family to this day, and is the city's only authentic German beer garden, complete with oompah bands and polka contests.

Campus dining[edit]

Many universities and public institutions have pubs or student center dining facilities located in repurposed basements. To market these nontraditional eating locations to students and patrons, many of these are termed "Ratskellers" including:

Popular culture[edit]

Child actress Adele De Garde starred in a 1918 silent movie called The Rathskeller and the Rose. The 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds, features a prolonged sequence taking place in a Ratskeller in France.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]