Hinterhof - Matthias Brandt and Eric Funk

Matthias Brandt (left) grew up in a small town in West-Berlin and Eric Funk (right) was an exchange student in Germany who fell in love with the culture. They've both currently live in Glassell Park

Highland Park -- Get your seitan schnitzels and housemade draft beers while you still can.

Hinterhof announced it will be closing its doors this week. The vegan beer garden and restaurant will open one last time on Saturday, May 15 to give customers a chance to say goodbye.

The only vegan German restaurant in Los Angeles officially opened its doors in 2019 after nearly six years of planning and construction to bring Berlin's community traditions to Highland Park. Owners Matthias Brandt and Eric Funk were surprised to see how quickly the concept became popular.

"It's really nice to see how people really feel about what we've done," said Funk. "Especially how vegans and non vegans liked it was just amazing," added Brandt of the York Boulevard restaurant, which featured a large outdoor dining area and a contemporary interior. "We never really expected it to be as successful and loved as it was."

The name Hinterhof refers to the courtyards of classic Berlin apartment buildings

Brandt grandmother used to make him vegetarian versions of traditional German meals, which would later inspire them to do the same with Hinterhof. The name was inspired by the inner courtyards of pre-war apartment buildings in Berlin where neighbors would spend evenings and weekends together eating, drinking and catching up.

Despite strong demand, the owners decided to close Hinterhof after needing time to recover and recenter. Funk plans to visit his family in Michigan who he hasn't seen since he started on the project and Brandt wants to fly to Germany as soon as it's safe to do so to spend time with his parents who are almost in their 80s.

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They're hoping to take this time to go back to their personal interests, but promise stay involved in the vegan community.

New vegan restaurant will open in the York Boulevard space

In the mean time, another vegan restaurant will be taking over their space, however they haven't announced what that restaurant will be.

"We're really excited about the new concept coming in as well and the most important thing to us was to make sure that it remained vegan," said Funk.

In a goodbye posted on announced on Instagram, Brandt and Funk said:

"We felt that we could change people’s minds about vegan restaurants and to introduce the community to the Berlin Beer Garden culture in an inviting, relaxed setting. We feel like we accomplished this and a lot more in the last two plus years and had a lot of fun doing it, even in a pandemic. Now it is time for us to move on to the next chapter in our lives and say Tschüß (goodbye) to our beloved Hinterhof."

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