On Oct. 18, Rome’s newest social venue, The Vogue, will host Oktoberfest — an evening of fun, festive music and, of course, German food and beer.
Rome residents might be familiar with the popular German tradition, an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. The world’s most popular Oktoberfest celebration is held in Munich, Germany, but cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations and Rome is joining in on the fun.
“We want this to be a celebration of community and family fun,” said one of the organizers Thomas Kislat, who was born and raised in East Germany and now lives and works in Rome. "It’s a celebration of the harvest coming in and it lets people enjoy a hearty meal and drinks and music with others in the community.”
Kislat remembers Oktoberfest celebrations in his native Germany. Though the popular Munich Oktoberfest was a little much for his liking, he said every town in Germany celebrates Oktoberfest in its own special way. He remembers the large beer tents, the delicious food, the lively music and the festive atmosphere. He always wanted his friends in Rome to enjoy the tradition.
The idea for an Oktoberfest celebration in downtown Rome came about after Thomas submitted recipes for German food to a recipe contest local restaurant Harvest Moon was holding. Owner Ginny Kibler thought the recipes could be expanded into a bigger event and together they decided on hosting Oktoberfest at Kibler’s new event space on Broad Street — The Vogue.
The event will feature authentic German food paired with German beer and wine and a three-course meal. Harvest Moon chef Michael Angio said he’s excited for the event since German food is close to his heart and he’s eager to prepare an Oktoberfest spread in The Vogue.
“Most of the food items will be things people are familiar with,” Angio said. “We’ll have three varieties of sausage, cheeses, we’ll have a pork roast, cabbage, sauerkraut, German pasta, pickled radish, slaws, pretzels and desserts.”
Angio said there will be vegetarian items as well.
He said the food will come out in courses and will be laid out in a family-style setting so guests can mingle with each other and enjoy the music and atmosphere.
“Expect large platters of good food,” Thomas added. “It’s sort of an introduction to German culture.”
With the price of admission guests can enjoy all the food they like as well as a sample of three German Oktoberfest beers and can then choose one type of beer to enjoy in a large beer stein while eating. After that, there will be cash bars downstairs and upstairs serving a variety of German beers and wines.
And The Vogue, when decorated for the occasion, will offer a special atmosphere, Angio said.
“I think you’ll definitely get a beer hall feel when you walk in,” he said. “We’ll have German Oktoberfest beers of course but we want to include local brews as well. This is the first time we’re doing this but I really think we’ll have a lot of people enjoying themselves and we’ll just build on that for next year.”
Oktoberfest at The Vogue will take place Oct. 18 starting at 6 p.m. Presale tickets are $39.99 and are on sale now at www.eventbrite.com by searching “Oktoberfest Rome.” On Oct. 14 ticket prices go up to $49.99.
Thomas Kislat is so proud to share German culture with his fellow Romans that he might even be wearing Lederhosen to the event and encouraged everyone to dress for the occasion. But traditional German attire isn’t required and the dress code is casual.