Heinz Reichenbach is stepping down as landlord of the "Restaurant Ebel", for health reasons, and the search for a new tenant is now underway. One thing is clear: the restaurant will remain a traditional village locale.
The Restaurant-Hotel Ebel in Inwil near Baar is to lose its current tenant. Landlord Heinz Reichenbach is stepping down at the end of April 2024, as he confirmed to the Zuger Zeitung newspaper. The reason is personal - and not a happy one. "Three years ago, I suffered a knee injury in an industrial accident and had to undergo several operations as a result. Since then, I've suffered from chronic pain and osteoporosis," says the 57-year-old, who has already had three stays in a rehabilitation clinic. "Under these circumstances, it makes no sense for me to continue."
Heinz Reichenbach has mainly worked in the background since the accident, taking care of administrative matters such as bookkeeping or hotel room hire, helping in the kitchen, coordinating and tasting.
In April, he will finally call it a day. The decision to take the step was not easy for him. "It took time for me to accept and come to terms with it. I enjoyed the job, was very happy here and would have otherwise continued until I retired," says Heinz Reichenbach, who has been running the restaurant for seven years. This is particularly the case because the "Ebel" had always done well. Economic considerations did not play a role in the decision to stop: the business has, in fact, recovered well after the pandemic years. Heinz Reichenbach currently employs one permanent member of staff and also relies on temporary staff. "We are looking step by step at how things will continue for them." Even an incident with social welfare recipients in 2021, when Reichenbach was threatened with CHF 10,000 in damages, is no longer an issue.
After seven years, Heinz Reichenbach is stepping down as landlord at the Hotel-Restaurant Ebel Photo: Maria Schmid
Gasthaus Ebel is located in the centre of Inwil near Baar
Martin Uster, Managing Director of the Baar Brewery Photos: Stefan Kaiser
"Ebel" should remain home-style
This makes it all the more important for Heinz Reichenbach that the restaurant should not close down. He hopes that the "Ebel" will continue to be run as a traditional Swiss restaurant - the current menu includes veal cutlets with rösti, cordon bleu or Wiener schnitzel with chips and cream schnitzel. "You don't have to reinvent the wheel in Inwil. We have been successful here."
Martin Uster, managing director of the Baar brewery (Brauerei Baar), agrees. His father, Kurt Uster, is the owner of the establishment. "It’s also our wish that the 'Ebel' remains a traditional village locale. We are working with Heinz Reichenbach to find a solution," he adds.
His ideal scenario would be a tenant couple who would take over the entire establishment on 1 May, including the restaurant, hotel rooms and landlord's flat. It almost worked out: "We had found an interested party and the contract talks were already at an advanced stage. Unfortunately, the person backed out a few days ago. Now we're actually back to square one," says Martin Uster.
A 5-course farewell menu
He is not nervous about this, however, especially as the restaurant has not yet been publicly advertised for lease. "That won't dismay us – we’ll will certainly find a solution," he says confidently. The property is in good condition and was repainted during the Corona virus years. "You can build a good existence with the 'Ebel'," Martin Uster is convinced.
Heinz Reichenbach, on the other hand, is already thinking about the end of his pub business. There will be no classic "Ustrinkete" in the "Ebel". Instead, he wants to thank his regular guests and closest friends with a final 5-course meal at the end of April - including music from the Carlo Brunner band. "I will invite 60 people who mean a lot to me."