Wunderbar, Pierogi Mountain Opening Alongside Co-Working Space in German Village
A German Village staple has officially been replaced, but its remnants can be found for those who are looking. Max & Erma’s, which operated in German Village for 45 years, has become a combination co-working space, bar and restaurant. Kollektiv, a co-working and office leasing company, shares the three-story building with Pierogi Mountain’s second location and a new concept, Wunderbar. It’ll open to the public on March 15.
Kollektiv offers 11 dedicated desks and six private offices, as well as 40 hot desks and a conference room. The ground floor they’ve dedicated to the full bar and restaurant, Wunderbar and Pierogi Mountain.
Throughout the process, Kollektiv co-creator Katie Murray says they consciously worked to maintain the history of the building with minor renovations. While the furniture was swapped out, the original Max & Erma’s bar remains, along with some of the memorabilia. During the buildout they were able to uncover the building’s original hardwood floors, tile and brick walls.
“We really wanted to make sure we were preserving the integrity of the building,” Murray said. “It’s an honor to be here, and we understand the importance of the building here to the neighborhood. We can wait to be a part of the community.”
Having Wunderbar and Pierogi Mountain is a unique amenity at Kollektiv, though the trend is picking up. The two businesses will operate side by side, but separately, similar to Pierogi Mountain’s original set-up at the Campus dive Cafe Bourbon Street.
Matt Majesky, co-owner of Pierogi Mountain, says the partnership was the perfect step forward for a business that was ready for the next phase.
“We were in the process of looking for a second location, and this just kind of fell into our laps,” he says. “We weren’t sure if we wanted to do our own thing and have our own bar, but this was just too good of an opportunity to pass up.”
Those who’ve been to Pierogi Mountain on Summit Street know what to expect. At a walk-up window, guests can order from a menu that gives equal representation to vegan and meat-eating diets. It’s co-created by vegan chef Charlie Green.
Together, Majesky and Green put out a range of items from the potato and cheddar pierogi, or mushroom, potato and sauerkraut pierogi, to a chicken paprikash and Hungarian poutine. Every month they do a meat and vegan special, along with a rotating sausage. In April or May, they’ll begin offering brunch.
It’s been five years of continued success for Pierogi Mountain, says Majesky, who started the business in his home kitchen. In 2014, he took it to Cafe Bourbon Street for one night per month, then increasing its frequency to every Tuesday. Three years ago, he started full time, “and it’s been good,” Majesky says.
“It’s been a slow, steady growth ever since we opened it. We kept it low key for a while, didn’t do a lot of advertising, mostly relied on word-of-mouth advertising,” Majesky says. “I think people will have a positive idea of what we’re going to be.”
Accompanying the eats will be a craft cocktail menu curated by Wunderbar mixologist Greg Burnett. Aiming to be an elevated neighborhood joint, Wunderbar is putting out “affordable, easy drinking, funky” drinks, some in partnership with Middle West Spirits. Look forward to a Stone Fruit Spritz made with OYO Stone Fruit Vodka, or a Pebble’s Punch, a clarified milk punch topped with Fruity Pebbles. The Erma pays homage to their roots with the Vim and Petal Gin, Pearl Liqueur and Pearl Tea, with a little citrus and fizz; and the Village, a riff on a Manhattan, is made Middle West Straight Wheat Whiskey and a smidgen of Laphroaig, giving it a smokey flavor. Seven taps will host local craft beer, and a selection of draft wines will be offered as well.
It all opens up at 739 S. Third St. on Friday, March 15.
For more information, visit kollektivco.com.