Marikka’s, a popular German beer garden, is back and bigger than ever.
Much, much bigger.
The restaurant opened at 411 Southland Drive in March 1991 in a former Sir Pizza. A volleyball net went up out back just to give patrons something to do at night, said Doug Tackett Jr., who owns and runs the restaurant with his parents, Doug Sr. and Marikka Tackett.
They quickly realized there was quite a demand for the volleyball court by leagues and now the new facility, which is almost 25,000 square feet, includes three indoor sand volleyball courts and three outdoor sand volleyball courts.
There’s also an enormous beer hall-type bar with long table seating, a stage for music and trivia, darts, shuffleboard, pool and other games, two dozen TVs for watching sports, a separate restaurant with its own patio as well as outdoor seating around the volleyball courts for 250 out back.
And later this spring Marikka’s will add its own in-house brewery to make and serve up to six kinds of house beer. The brewery will be above the main bar, with windows so customers can watch the beer being made.
“People have been asking us ‘when did you come up with wanting to do this?’ Doug Tackett Jr. said. “We’ve been wanting to do this for over 25 years. We just finally got to do it. It just kind of steamrolled along with everything else.”
The project has cost nearly $6 million, he said, including a $2.3 million small-business credit initiative financed through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, which supported the project because it will create up to 30 jobs.
The original “Marikka’s Restaurant & Bier Stube was really really small,” he said. “You couldn’t fit any pool tables. I think we had one dart board and we squeezed in a fooz ball table. ... Our patio was a little grass area with a regular pool table and bench.”
More than a year ago, that Marikka’s building was torn down to make way for the new one, which will open on Monday. Leagues for volleyball players are already pretty much filled after a sign-up announced on Facebook last week.
Groups have begun reserving the private room, which seats about 50, for parties. And several charity volleyball tournaments already are in the works.
Marikka’s menu will return with many of the same authentic German favorites including pretzels, potato pancakes, wurst and wienerschnitzel, and a few new items, said Morgan Middleton, director of operations for volleyball, events, entertainment and marketing.
The bar will feature about 1,000 different beers, including imports, and 20 taps, mostly imports, Tackett said.
And customers again will be able to take a run at Marikka’s beer-drinking hall of fame by working their way through all of them.
Those that do will join a select crowd honored on the wall over the dart boards, Tackett said.
Marikka’s restaurant will be open 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, while the bar is open 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
Parking will be available on three sides, as well as in the adjacent lot after other businesses close and in another lot across Southland Drive.