Popular landmark Hamilton restaurant closing briefly for renovations


Published October 18, 2022 at 5:01 pm

A downtown Hamilton restaurant that has become a veritable landmark over its half-century history says it is not closing — it’s merely renovating.

The Black Forest Inn, which is the lone Bavarian restaurant in the city, has briefly closed its doors. There is reassurance that the closure stems from kitchen renovations and retooling and staff training, and the kitchen will be making its signature spaetzle mac-and-cheese before too long at 255 King St. E., at Ferguson Avenue.
“We are NOT closing our doors permanently and hope to be open for at least takeout/delivery in early November,” a social media post read.

The restaurant did have a multiple-alarms kitchen fire on March 23. It was extinguished by the kitchen sprinkler system by the time that Hamilton Fire Department crews arrived, and the Black Forest Inn said it would be able to reopen the next day, albeit it with a later-than-usual opening time.

The restaurant has been a fixture in Hamilton since 1967, and was bought by a company named Forge and Foster in 2017 after being family-owned for two generations. The founders, Fred and Rosa Obbereiter, came to Hamilton from Austria in the 1950s, and ownership passed to their son and daughter-in-law Wolfgang Schoen in the early ’90s before they called it a day. One condition of the sale five years ago, as reported by CHCH News, was that staff would keep their jobs.

The menu includes 11 different types of schnitzel from six European countries. Spaetzle mac-and-chhese, made with caramelized onions and Swiss cheese (instead of cheddar), is a signature starter.

The inn, also known for its outdoor Biergarten, has been at its location since the days before the Hamilton International Village BIA was established in order to attract and support businesses to a span of King and Main streets between Mary St. and West Ave. in the downtown. Twenty-three restaurants, coffee/tea shops and specialty food stores (including Denninger’s Foods of the World) are now part of the village.


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