Save the schnitzel!

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Forget Oktoberfest — celebrate Schnitztemberfest this weekend by raising a stein to save Bay Ridge’s own German beer hall!

The city says that Fifth Avenue’s Schnitzel Haus needs $70,000 in renovations to meet building codes, and the owners are asking the neighborhood for a little freundlichkeit to help them bear the costs.

“It’s turning into a financial nightmare for us,” said Fred Urban, who bought the building between 73rd and 74th streets seven years ago.

Urban said he and his wife, Amber, were inexperienced at the time and did not hire an inspector to check if the building was up to code. He said that neither the bank nor the title company warned them that the previous owner’s conversion of a second-floor office into a dining room, an extension built in the back, and the relocation of the kitchen into the basement were all done without the necessary permits.

“Nobody ever said, ‘hey, there’s a problem here,’ ” Urban said.

When the Urbans decided to make some repairs upstairs last year, a city inspector slapped the building with a slew of citations, and forced the couple to close the second-floor dining room. To save their beloved beers and brats, the Urbans decided to hold a fund-raising feier — and asked some longtime musical friends for some help.

Regular performers at the eatery said they were more than happy to help out the Urbans, who provided a unique place for them to play.

“The Schnitzel Haus is a little different, and it’s really special to me,” said John Lepore, half of the singer-songwriter duo Whippoorwill.

Lepore said the Urbans created a space where he and his friend Paul Cassone could sing and strum original acoustic tunes, something hard to find in Bay Ridge — almost as hard to find as authentic German cuisine.

“They’ve made Paul and I feel really, really comfortable there, and anything we can do to help them out, we’re there,” said Lepore. “Besides, the food is fantastic.”

Ridge bands Lords of the Fjords and Potentially Unstable will also perform.

“Save the Schnitzel” at the Schnitzel Haus (7319 Fifth Ave. between 73rd and 74th streets in Bay Ridge) On Sept. 29 at 1 pm. $20. For tickets, go to

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him
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Reasonable discourse

W W from Ridge says:
Nice try on the "poor us" story, but maybe the banks who loan money don't like the look of your books.

A shame to loose it, but it hasn't been the same since you lost your best chef.

And Will, Octoberfest happens in September, so there is no "waiting". You could look it up.
Sept. 25, 2013, 9:52 am
George Schaeffer from Bay Ridge says:
I think this place is a great addition to Bay Ridge and a nice change from all the Italian joints. Best Chef Mr. Uwe, LOL he isn't lost he is in potter's field, owed a bit to much money. Maybe you would like another .99 store on 5th ave or better yet lets open another hookah place. Bay Ridge should be filled with more families like the Urban's and more business' built of family values like they have. They live on one of the most patriotic blocks in Brooklyn (74th Street) but assume a bitter person like you would not care about any of that. Fred & Amber Wir wünschen Ihnen viel Glück Sie Freund George and I will see you on Sunday!
Sept. 26, 2013, 12:45 pm
Local from B.R. says:
Fundraiser to Save Business Owners from Their Clueless R.E. Decisionmaking.
Makes sense.
Sept. 26, 2013, 12:50 pm
aj from br says:
I like the hookah idea many places on 5th ave are outdated we need to support our Muslim community that has been neglected or supported by bay ridge residents
Sept. 26, 2013, 12:57 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
How are the owners' "patriotic block" or "family values" at all relevant to this story about a restaurant's financial problems?
Sept. 26, 2013, 1:18 pm
Sally from BR says:
I have been to this place a few times and enjoy their food because it reminds me of my mother who passed last year. I think the main focus we all should be looking at is not what fault's they may have had or their financial status but how to save another Bay Ridge business' from closing down. If you haven't noticed, Bay Ridge is going to hell in a handbag. I personally would like my property value to go up and see people move into Bay Ridge not move to Park Slope or other areas.
Sept. 26, 2013, 1:36 pm
John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Pardon the suggestion, but perhaps Chef Ramsey should move in on this place.
Sept. 26, 2013, 5:53 pm
Pookie the lion from Park slip slope says:
High tides is playing so total vibe for sure
Sept. 26, 2013, 6:47 pm
W W from Ridge says:

Sorry, our credit card machine is broken, cash only tonight.

Second: Cash only on Wednesday and Sunday.

Third: Cash only.

Try getting a loan that way.
Sept. 27, 2013, 8:59 am
Christina from Bay Ridge says:
Confused...WW why do you keep talking about a loan. My Uncle did not apply or is looking to get a loan from anyone. As a mater of fact did not even want this fundraiser as stated by him on facebook weeks ago but was organized regardless by caring friends. Focus should be on the city and what they do to attack small business owners. Unless of course you are not from this country then you get free cash from the city, state, federal goverment to open a business.
Sept. 27, 2013, 10:40 am
W W from Ridge says:
Loans are what businesses get.

Your Uncle is looking for a handout.
Sept. 27, 2013, 5:15 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
ww - so is your ssi a loan or a handout. you have a hard on for small business - get over it - 5th av will become the mecca of 99 cent stores and halal crap -
Sept. 27, 2013, 10:33 pm
Tommy from shore rd says:
yea lets tear it down as put in a chain place, a bank, or the best idea - hookah place. They are too concentrated around bay ridge ave so lets spread it out a little.
Sept. 29, 2013, 12:49 am
John Bennet from Bay RIdge says:
Where is Chef Uwe? He was the reason to go there.
Sept. 29, 2013, 12:13 pm
Phil S. from Beirut aka Bay Ridge says:
WW-Fundraiser was organized by friends against Fred's wishes.
Tommy-5th Ave has been forgotten by the 5th BID, James Clark, Basil, Marty Golden, we definetly need more hookah places or in the case of Tarboosh on 73rd Street it is a real hooker place, just ask to go to the basement.
John B - He has been dead for 6 months because he didnt pay off his gamling debts and another reason the Schnitzel is in debt. He was a thief and owes half the bars in Bay Ridge money.
Fred/Amber- Good luck to you and you family.
Sept. 30, 2013, 11:03 am
Sunny from Bay Ridge says:
Karma is a real ——!!!!
Sept. 30, 2013, 10:26 pm
Mike D from Brooklyn says:
The food is sadly not what it use to be!The Schnitzelhouse without Chef
Uwe-just close it down,i dont think
anybody will miss it.
Oct. 3, 2013, 5:43 pm
brooklyn foodie from bayridge says:
Mike D-you are sooo right!The Owner from Schnitzelhaus is surely
looking for a handout instead he should learn how to run his business properly.
Oct. 3, 2013, 6:08 pm
Steve D from from Bay Ridge says:
The 'Urban Stories' are well known in Bayridge,everything is a Lie! What a Crook......
Nov. 26, 2013, 9:02 pm
Tommy from Bayridge says:
The Schnitzel House is run by real Artist-
BS-Artist!I will never ever visit that Roach infestet ——hole again!! The ,German Food, is nothing less than a
Insult to German People! The Owners
-Family recepies-lol .What a Joke!
Nov. 27, 2013, 10:37 pm
Lisa from Brooklyn says:
I hope the Schnitzelhouse and his 'fine'
Owner and clueless Manager disapear soon! Bayridge has enough.
Dec. 1, 2013, 3:48 am
People from from Bayridge says:
The Urbans are by far the biggest Scumbags and ——s in Bayridge!!!
Dec. 11, 2013, 3:19 pm

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