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Koenig Spices Up Speisekammer September 16th

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Speisekammer Barroom

The town of Alameda sits on a peninsula in the San Francisco Bay next door to Oakland. Before the San Francisco Bay Bridge was constructed, it was a launching spot for ferries to San Francisco. With the bridge carrying the cars, the ferries died out and Alameda reverted to a quiet middle-class town. A canal separates it from the mainland, so it is often mistaken to be an island. That canal, and the lack of any major highway transiting the town, isolates it from the hubbub of the east bay, providing a very distinctive and beautiful community.

On September 26, a Thursday night, we dined at the Speisekammer restaurant in Alameda to catch the Johnny Koenig band, which hails from the Cleveland area. This was our first visit to Speisekammer and we were blown away by the phenomenal German cuisine. The restaurant has a barroom with dining where the band played and 2 separate large dining rooms. The restaurant was well-occupied with easily 100 people. There’s no dancing area provided, so we had to make do with dancing in between tables.

I was expecting the Johnny Koenig Cleveland-style Slovenian band, but we got lots more. Naturally since it’s Oktoberfest season we got a good dose of German beer-drinking tunes. But the real surprise was when the band played a couple of Polish polkas, which were par excellence. Well, no wonder, look at who was doing vocals and playing trumpet! Richie Kois, trumpeter & vocalist with the Polka Country Musicians and the Versatones, joined Johnny on this tour.