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The SCENE Magazine

Prost! Stuttgarden Tavern Opens Kemah Location

Nov 08, 2016 01:28AM ● By John Ennis
Kemah has long been known for a variety of fun events, restaurants, bars, nightlife, and water recreation. Stuttgarden Tavern, a full-service bar and restaurant serving food, beer, wine, and liquor, is the latest addition for Kemah visitors and its surrounding residents.

Stuttgarden Tavern opened its first location on The Strand in Galveston in 2014. Following their recipe of success serving fresh food made in-house and a rotation of the area’s latest and seasonal craft beers on the island, partners John Mortensen and Derek Groenewold teamed up again to open a Stuttgarden Tavern at Mall of the Mainland in Texas City this past April. Currently, the popular hangout offers both indoor and outdoor seating including two outdoor televisions. The Texas City space is in the process of expanding into a 6,000-square-foot facility as an indoor, air-conditioned beer garden. Stay tuned to the SCENE for expansion details. Kemah is the latest location to join their roster. Their doors opened the final week of October.

Looking for a fun German-inspired name, Mortensen and Groenewold decided on, Stuttgarden Tavern. The name encapsulates what they offer: a laid-back atmosphere (“not fancy, but not a dive bar, a great place to chill” Mortensen notes) and American and European-influenced food and drinks. The name, Groenewold explained, is derived from a town northwest of Münich.

“I love visiting cities all over Germany, but I love the town of Stuttgart, he said. “There they hold HarvestFest every year, similar to Oktoberfest,” adding that they were careful to not use the traditional German spelling for a beer garden (“garten”) – because although they do have a wide variety of beer on tap, they indeed serve so much more.

This is apparent as both of their newest locations are ever-expanding and truly offer something for everyone.

“Our Kemah location is our biggest, with 52 taps. Some of them are reserved for our regular German beers, while many others showcase the craft breweries in the area, like Texas Beer Refinery, Galveston Island, Karbach and Saint Arnold. Everything rotates based on what’s seasonal,” Groenewold said.

For those wanting to explore a little taste of it all, Stuttgarden offers beer flights of four 4 oz. pours. In the liquor department, one of their top drinks is a Cherry Limeade, which Mortensen notes “tastes just like a Sonic Drive-In cherry limeade,” though they have a variety of other popular specialty cocktails as well.

And the food? With Chef Steven Navarro, a graduate of Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles overseeing the menus, hungry guests are in for some incredible dishes.

“Everything is fresh. We make pretty much everything from scratch in our kitchen including our bratwurst, pickles, mustard, fries and potato chips,” Mortensen said. The bratwurst made in-house includes the ever-popular stuffed smoked gouda, while the Irish nachos, stroganoff, and schnitzel always get praise from guests, Mortensen added. In addition to the German staples, the diverse menu includes American fare, too – burgers, sandwiches, salads, wings – and a several other international offerings.

Guests can also look forward to fun events and specials at the Stuttgarden Tavern-Kemah! Trivia night, live music and steak night are all on the menu— as well as football on several flat-screen televisions throughout the bar-restaurant.

Stuttgarden Tavern Kemah is located at 609 Bradford on the second floor of Toucan Alley. The kitchen is open late serving tasty eats, daily until 1 a.m. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., 7 days a week. For more information on the Galveston and Texas City locations, visit or their Facebook pages.

- Sarah Piña