Late-'60's menu (note the minimum drinking age!)**
1978 photo showing the first liquor-by-the-drink served at the RH**
1988 photo of Jimmy and Steve Emmanuel behind the bar**
1988 photo showcasing the famous piano in the center of the room
1988 partial menu
Above three ads all from 1989
1989 staff photo
April 1992 article showcasing Steve's famous Easter generosity**
November 1994 staff photo**
RH matchbook (courtesy of Jeff McEwen)
The RH history from the front of a 1995 menu**
Charlie Emmanuel taking a break out front**
2005 Takeout Menu**
Logo from the 2005 menu**
Original German beer stein that hung above the bar**
Patrons waiting on the last day**
Charlie & Steve on the last day**
For almost forty years, The Rheinland Haus was a Charlotte institution made popular by its traditional German fare and German beers.
The Rheinland Haus opened in April 1966 in the Park Square shopping center in Dilworth on Park Rd. Original owner Pete Collier opened the Rheinland Haus as more of a pub than restaurant. Even though the legal drinking age at the time was 18, he kept the age at 20 in order to keep out the Myers Park High School seniors (who were technically old enough to drink). He also owned the Alpine Chateau restaurant on Morehead St. Running both a restaurant and a tavern soon became overwhelming and Collier decided to concentrate his energies on the Alpine Chateau and sell the Rheinland Haus.
In 1972, Collier sold the restaurant to Steve Emmanuel and the transformation to a full-scale German restaurant began. The restaurant was successful not only due to its great food, but largely in-part due to the Emmanuel family (Steve's sons Charlie & Jimmy also helped run the restaurant) who were always gracious and inviting hosts. While there were other German restaurants in the area, the Rheinland Haus' authentic menu set them apart. The restaurant also had a dinner-time piano player that enhanced the experience. Steve was also famous for hosting an Easter event each year to help feed the elderly. The Rheinland Haus was the first restaurant in the area to go smoke-free in 2002 (at the time this was considered risky, but now many other Charlotte restaurants have followed suit). The Rheinland Haus continued its successful run until it closed in November 2005. The location currently houses an Italian eatery, but to its local patrons, it will always be remembered as the home of the Rheinland Haus.
Many thanks to Charlie Emmanuel for allowing the use of items from his personal family collection to be used for this post (as well as providing important background information). His contributions are noted above by a double asterisk (**) by each item/photo. The Rheinland Haus is one of my all time favorite Charlotte restaurants and his assistance is greatly appreciated!
October 1973 ad
2002 interior photos (all courtesy of Charlie Emmanuel)
2004 Best of Charlotte table (courtesy of Charlie Emmanuel)
Charlie helping at the "Soup on Sunday" hospice benefit (courtesy of Charlie Emmanuel)
2002 reunion of all piano players who had played at the restaurant (courtesy of Charlie Emmanuel)
Flyers from the annual Oktoberfest Festival (courtesy of Charlie Emmanuel)
Table-top flyer (courtesy of Charlie Emmanuel)