Following the ongoing renovation work, guests will have the opportunity to visit Zug’s first and oldest bar when it opens to the public on Friday, 3rd July.
The Althus has played a significant part in Zug’s history. In 1954, its first owner, Frau Martha Christen, wanted to turn her café into a bar, but the local authorities rejected her application. She then took matters to the Swiss Federal Court. An application of this kind was unheard for a woman in her times. Luckily, the Federal Court eventually ruled in her favour. Since then, the Althus has been the first and oldest bar in Zug, and its new owner is especially proud of that fact.
It has a great location on the Landesgemeindeplatz in the Zug Altstadt, and affords a lovely view over the lake. It has stood empty since March due to renovations and work is now almost complete. The new restaurant owner, Eric Bourgeois from the French-speaking part of Canada, and his team of five will integrate the old and new with an internationally inspired menu.
It will have a relaxed feel, supported by green tones from plants and seating on which you can sit back and relax. Eric carried out most of the renovations himself with the help of his team, but has also hired local craftsmen, for example, a carpenter from Schwyz who built the French-oak bar top, which was grown in Sattel. “The Althus bar building has been standing here for over 400 years, and we found an incredible amount of history behind the old walls of this locality during the renovations,” says the enthusiastic Eric. He has even integrated old pieces of wood into the new design of the bar in order to pay homage to its history. “From what I have heard, Martha Christen created a home away from home for her guests over the 50+ years of operation. I love this idea of bringing back such a community spirit, and look forward to fostering this at the Althus Bar.”
“We will focus on local products and cook a variety of dishes that will be inspired by both Swiss and international cuisine,” says Eric, who comes from a farming family and really appreciates locally grown fresh products. He will offer craft beer from many Swiss small breweries, such as Eisbock, Kreuzmühle or Bachweg Brewing from Zug, and will even have his own brew for the bar. “Every guest will be invited to deposit their favourite beer glass or any favourite glass with us, and will receive a membership number, which they simply mention on the next visit to use again. It’s more unique and fun to be able to drink from a glass of your own choice,” he explains. The glasses will be hung up by the bar.
As well as the selection of craft beer, a selection of local wines and spirits will also be offered. In addition to using and celebrating the local food products, Eric also wants to provide some visibility of the farm-to-table ideal by hanging portraits of the producers behind the bar. “When serving the food, we can immediately explain who is behind the food, and what work steps it takes to bring the products to the table.”
Herb Tower and Ice Hockey bathroom
“The Althus should have a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, where you can play a boardgame over a drink with friends” says Eric, who has lived in the canton of Zug for four years. He also wants to introduce Althus membership, through which, for example, registered guests can be exclusively invited to events, such as brewing beer or cooking classes.
“There will be a herb tower on the small terrace on the upper floor, next to the kitchen, so the chefs can pick fresh ingredients through the window,” says Eric. Plant crates with herbs and other plants will also feature on the walls of the Althus bar. The bathroom facilities are also intended to surprise and entertain: “I chose the cherry blossom tree theme, with soft pink colours and cherry blossom photographs from a local photographer, for the women’s bathroom. The men’s bathroom will be a bit crazier, where we’ll have an ice hockey theme,” reveals Eric, who is himself a big EVZ fan and still plays with the a local team.