In Openings by Clyde Mooney

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Rockpool Group has burst into Oktober, celebrating the month of beer with two new venues, beginning with The Bavarian in Westfield Coomera.

Opening Thursday (11 October) the new location will unleash a no-holds-barred extra long weekend of Bavarian hospitality, rolling out oompah bands, singing, dancing, competitions and prizes, amid a steady flow of official Oktoberfest beers.

Located in the dining and lifestyle area of the new Westfield Coomera, The Bavarian offers 320 seats, including a 140-seat al fresco dining area.

The design reflects Bavarian heritage, incorporating stone walls and alpine finishes and decked with large, communal timber tables flanked by bench seating. There is a custom-designed vintage beer barrel wall, hand-painted graphics, and the striking chandelier over the bar made of 500 1-litre glass steins.

Rockpool Group (RPG) reports the Bavarian concept is increasingly popular with the Queensland populace and the weather conducive to its larger-than-life atmosphere. Coomera is the Group’s seventh venue in Queensland, joining The Bavarians at Broadbeach, Westfield Chermside, Eagle Street Pier and Toowoomba, The Bavarian Beerhaus at Bowen Hills and Munich Brauhaus in Southbank.

“Queensland loves the brand,” offers RPG CEO Thomas Pash. “They drink a lot of beer, the weather is good, the customers are great.”

The rapid expansion is the result of long-term planning by RPG, bringing the Group’s first Adelaide venue online later this month, with Wetherill Park scheduled before Christmas.

The renowned beer festival month is idyllic timing for the Group to go big on Bavarian, where there lies “a little taste of Oktoberfest every day of the year”.

“We’re doing a four-day grand opening slash Oktoberfest there, which was kind of by design,” adds Pash. “Should be a lot of fun.”

The menu offers the Bavarian essentials – crispy pork knuckle, crackling pork belly, classic German and gourmet sausages, shared platters and a range of traditional and loaded schnitzels – beside lighter bites such as chicken wings, pork bao buns and spicy squid.

From the taps, 17 biers are on offer, comprising a mix of Bavarian favourites (Lowenbrau, Franziskaner, Stiegl, Hofbrau) as well as local and regional craft brews, and Urban Craft Brewing Co house range.

Tomorrow’s opening will kick-start with the now traditional 500 free hotdogs from 11am for the first to arrive.

But activities will soldier on all weekend, beginning Friday with live music from 6pm interspersed with competitions at half-hour intervals. On the schedule are sausage-eating, Stein-holding, chicken dancing, pork knuckle-eating, non-alcoholic beer chugging and sausage tossing.

Saturday will see eight hours of back-to-back competitions and prizes, launched with the official keg tap at midday. There will be kids’ activities and face painting across the weekend, and children under 12 eat free from the kids’ menu on Sunday.