Besides many well known night spots that were almost exclusively patronized by Americans, there were a number of maybe not exactly spectacular but typical German inns where German as well as American guests came for a hearty meal… and felt at home. One of these was the “Österreichischer Kaiser” (Austrian Emperor) at Landvogtstraße 9.
The inn is still existing - and still patronized by a number of Americans who were once stationed in Augsburg and stayed. Even Augsburg’s “Veterans of Foreign Wars” and “The American Legion” are present at the “Österreichischer Kaiser” and enjoy having their Halloween and Christmas Parties there!
From the beginning 50s till the mid 60s, Ludwig and Rosamunde (Rosie) Mack were the innkeepers who also had the attached butcher’s, again with many American customers. It is noteworthy that Rosie can’t remember any quarrel between her American and German guests or problems with the neighborhood if the nights became longer and noisier when guests were leaving after one beer too much.
The inn accommodates about 60 (plus 35 guests in a separate room) and features also a popular, shady Biergarten where, once, the Fürst Fugger beer from Babenhausen tasted even better than inside. Today, they tap a different brand of beer, the Fürst Fugger brewery being out of business for a number of years.
The guests cherished Rosie’s hearty American type breakfast, and especially, of course, T-bone steak with fried potatoes, Zwiebelrostbraten (steak with a lot of sliced, roasted onions), Wiener Schnitzel (breaded fried veal cutlet) with French fries, and various sandwiches including a special treat – “Rosie’s Sandwich”. Rosie, now 87 years old, still keeps that recipe secret! There were also a lot of “to go” orders – single orders of 20 or more sandwiches for the “night shift“ in one of the nearby kasernes kept Rosie busy even at 2200 hours or later.
Being good friends of their guests, the innkeepers were invited for Bingo at the nearby Officers Club / Recreation Center, Bldg 33, Reese Barracks– today the City’s Cultural Center “abraxas” - where, as Rosie recollects, they once did win a delicious, fried half chicken.The innkeepers were even invited by several American families for coffee and cake in Centerville.
As far as Rosie can remember, there was only one not exactly nice event in all those years: A “visit” by the customs / CID, searching for a couple of tinned peaches which she had received as a gift from one of her American patrons.
Translation: Heinz Strüber, Dec 11, 2011 / Jan 12, 2012
In September 1958, Rosamunde Mack is cutting her original American white and pink birthday cake, baked by an U.S. baker (2nd from right) at Quartermaster Kaserne. Regular German and American patrons as well as tenants met for the party at the "Österreichischer Kaiser". In September 2013, Rosamunde Mack celebrated her 90th birthday. At the same time, her former inn was shut down forever - an inn with a ´bourgeois´American past, afar from any (later) cliché GI bar / brawl scene.