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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

August 14, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Von Trapp’s beer hall changes name to Rhein Haus

File photo by Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times

File photo by Dean Rutz/The Seattle Times

The hills are alive, with the sound of… trademark debates? Popular Capitol Hill beer hall Von Trapp’s has changed its name on the request of a member of the Trapp family of “Sound of Music” fame.

The new name for the 10,000-square-foot space is Rhein Haus, “as homage to the longest river running through Bavaria.” Everything else about the vast hall will stay the same, from owners (Deming Maclise and James Weimann) to chef (Pete Fjosne, specializing in house made sausages & pretzels) to beer taps (24) to indoor bocce ball courts (5.)

The owners said in a press release they had “vetted the original name and got the federal trademark before opening in early 2013.” There appeared to be no issues with it at first.

Last year, when the Vermont-based Trapp Family Singers were on a Northwest tour, they “had heard of Von Trapp’s and how popular it was,” and had actually offered to play a free show in the beer hall to increase their exposure here, according to a spokesperson for the beer hall. It didn’t work out, but soon after the owners heard from a family member with concerns. Weimann said that “in order to differentiate ourselves from the Trapp family, a name change is best for everyone involved.”

The business, at 912 12th Ave., had more going for it than just the name. Times critic Providence Cicero called it a “boisterous playland,” one with “a soaring, raftered ceiling, crystal-embellished chandeliers, elk heads, a pair of palatial fireplaces, three bars and a grand staircase leading to one of two mezzanines” overlooking the courts.

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