Inn hosts German Heritage Festival

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    STANHOPE-Family and tradition are everything. Just ask Heinz Aichem, owner of the Black Forest Inn in Stanhope. The family is hosting its first German Heritage Festival at their restaurant from Friday, July 22 to Sunday, July 24. Specially prepared German cuisine, live music, and dancing will fill the restaurant for three straight days. Featured entertainment acts will be the Arnold Klinger Band and the Emil Schanta Band. A special menu has been created that includes traditional dishes like: flammkuchen, a German style pizza made with bacon, chive, sour cream, and assorted cheeses; schwabische maultaschen, veal and spinach wrapped in dough; and various styles of schnitzel. A children's menu is also available. The Aichem family has combined German tradition and family at the Black Forest Inn for 27 years. Aichem's son Heinz, Jr., is the European-trained chef, his wife Elke serves as bookkeeper extraordinaire, and his daughter Barbara is general manager. These days, Heinz, Sr., and Elke are in semi-retirement, with Heinz, Jr., and Barbara running the restaurant. The family atmosphere extends to the staff as well, for several employees, such as chef Raymond Santiago, have been with the restaurant for more than 20 years. The heritage festival is reminiscent of similar celebrations at old world inns in Germany, where Aichem, Sr., grew up. He emigrated to the United States in the 1960's after mastering his culinary skills at hotels, restaurants, and cruise ships throughout Europe. Eventually Aichem, Sr., learned about the Black Forest Inn, a former inn and stagecoach stop, and in 1978 he opened it up as a restaurant. Since then it has grown into a must-visit dining establishment. Friday nights there is light entertainment. The inn offers a full German-style menu daily, except for Tuesdays when it is closed. Early-bird dinner specials are available 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays. The Black Forest Inn is located at 249 Rte. 206 North in Stanhope. For more information about the restaurant or the German Heritage Festival, call 973-347-3344.