On the wind of several successful ventures, restaurateur and German immigrant, Carl Goerwitz, got a bit ambitious. He took out a long-term lease on 190 3rdAvenue, contracted architectural firm Weber & Drosser, and oversaw an overhaul of the building, complete with a new façade fashioned after the Friedrichsbau at Heidelberg Castle.
The finished product was Scheffel Hall, a restaurant and beer hall carrying the name of Joseph Victor von Scheffel, a German poet best known for the collection of songs, Gaudeamus, Lieder aus dem Engeren und Weiteren. Reinforcing the name, the building’s walls were ornamented with paneling and paintings that illustrated scenes and mottoes from Scheffel’s poems. Goerwitz took great care in designing the interior, purposefully evoking a timeworn rathskeller.
Perched on the northern stretches of Kleindeutschland, Scheffel Hall catered to the local German immigrant community. Beyond the German clientele, it was also well liked by the area’s politicians, artists, and writers—including O. Henry, who set his story, "The Halberdier of the Little Rheinschloss," there.
Goerwitz operated the business until 1904, at which point he sublet the business to an employee, who subsequently sold his stake to Allaire's restaurant and saloon next door. The Allaire family managed the business until 1928, when the building was sold to the German-American Athletic Club.
In 1936, the German-American Athletic Club brought in a new management team and the concept of community singing—which, in turn, brought a new audience. College students came in droves for the experience of carousing, drinking, and boisterously singing the night away.
With the 1979 introduction of the jazz club Fat Tuesday’s, the music echoing inside the walls became noticeably improved. The club hosted jazz greats like Stan Getz and Joe Turner, as well performances by Les Paul and rock icons like Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, and Jimmy Page.