Just to the left of Munich’s New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) a Munich institution has returned. Munich’s second oldest tavern with an over 300 year history has finally completed a full rebuild and has opened its doors.
This corner of Marienplatz, next to the Weinstraße, was once the main office of the police was next to the office where the grain was weighed. In the same house, you could also buy a glass of wine to be enjoyed on site Over time, the locals changed over to beer and, after a long wait, Max List received the rights to serve beer – on January 31, 1715, exactly 301 years ago! At this time his place was known as “Reale Bierwirtschaft Zur alten Hauptwache.
From 1760 – 1775 Dionysius Haertl took the reign and rechristened the place as “Zur alten Hauptwache.” But the locals took to referring to his place as “Dionisl – a Bavarian corruption of the name Dionysius. From then on, people from all walks of life sat together and enjoyed a freshly tapped beer. Even Frank Wedekind, the German playwright, and Ludwig Thoma, a famous author, were regulars there!
In 1885, Georg Pschorr acquired the building and it went in the holdings of the Pschorr Brewery. A lot of money was invested to modernize the place and it remained a favorite amongst the locals.
In WWII, the building was completely destroyed and it took 10 years for the place to reopen.
In 1984 this storied tavern hit rock bottom by causing a national scandal. 80 police officers and six people were arrested. They were guilty of systematically robbing their guests – sometimes even putting knockout drops in the beer! The doors were locked and the place went through another renovation. After this, the Donisl adopted the motto “Eating in Munich doesn’t have to be expensive,” but it struggled to regain the trust of the locals.
In 2011 the planning began to tear down the old structure and construct something new in its place. In 2013 demolition finally began and just in December 2015 was the building ready for new guests.
The new Donisl is a modern place with clean lines and little decoration. The front area near the entry is intended for the guest who just wants to have a beer or two, while the larger tables inside are more intended for enjoying a meal. Above the main floor, there is a balcony with individual tables where you can sit and observe all the activity. The thing that catches the eye is the large area where the beer is poured. The wooden keg sits in view of the entire place and the back wall is lined with mug lockers for the regulars. We enjoyed a good meal there and the service was very attentive. The prices, on the other hand, are a bit steep. Have a look for yourself the next time you’re in Munich! In the meantime, have a look on their webpage for many photos: http://donisl.com/de/wirtshaus-muenchen-bildergalerie.html
Learn more about Munich and Bavaria from the Bavarian Specialist, BayernTrips at www.bayerntrips.com