It is business as usual for Rosemarie Keidel.
Months after the rejection of plans by Rockmill Tavern, which was to have taken over a portion of her business – Juergens German Bakery and Restaurant – Keidel is actively running her establishment.
“I am continuing,” said Keidel, 78. “I may make some changes, but I’m continuing. I still have options.”
Those options could include leasing the space to another restaurateur, she said. But Keidel is playing her cards close to her vest, not revealing who has inquired about the space.
Matt Barbee, founder of Rockmill Brewery in Lancaster, spent the better part of last year trying to open a tavern in the bakery’s site, 525 S. Fourth St.
Ultimately, city officials rejected the proposal, based on the size of the patio and lack of on-site parking.
Barbee opened Rockmill Tavern in the nearby Brewery District. He said he no longer will pursue Juergens as a potential tavern site but is helping Keidel find a replacement.
“I think there’s a lot of interest,” he said.
His proposal dredged up long-simmering hostilities from residents over adding new retail uses, particularly restaurants, without providing adequate parking.
Lost in the seemingly endless public meetings was Keidel’s role in maintaining a presence at the site.
The project called for her to reserve a small space in Rockmill and still provide homemade German pastries, savory dishes and deli items.
“I like what I do, but when I negotiated, I saw the light of (downsizing) but not going away,” she said. “We have a good product. ... People all over the place (are) happy if I stay for a while.”
Another restaurant – even a higher-use one – could replace Juergens without city approval, providing the size of the space were not changed.
Juergens has been around for 50 years or so, although Keidel doesn’t know exactly when it was founded. Her ex-husband, Peter Buth, still is the baker at the restaurant.
Keidel owns the building, along with other property in German Village.
Retirement doesn’t seem to be in her near future.
“It became my life – ups and downs – but it became my life,” she said of the restaurant. “And I’ll hang in there.”