The Bären, built in 1756, is something of a feature in Gsteig. Owned by the municipality of Gsteig since 1822, it was abandoned about ten months ago.
The community didn’t seem quite the same after the closure of such a prominent business and local restaurant. After several failed attempts to relaunch the Bären, people were beginning to think it may be doomed. The local authority asked Gastro Bern for an expertise, which turned out quite positive. It encouraged the local council to look for
Several interested parties responded to the invitation to tender, including Christian Hefti and his wife Gabi from Lucerne. Christian had grown up in Feutersoey. After careful consideration and numerous meetings, this technically skilled couple decided to take on the new challenge and were bold enough to move from the lovely canton of Lucerne to the mountain village – a real stroke of luck for the Gsteig community. Blessed with considerable motivation, the Heftis had been refurbishing the hotel and restaurant in careful preparation for its reopening.
Many locals and visitors accepted the invitation to the open day and followed the signs marking the way through the premises. To greet them, an aperitif and delicious warm savoury snacks were served in the lounge. A fire blazed in the grate and everyone was welcome to enjoy a raclette. In the wine cellar, the marvellous collection of wines was there for all to see. Landlord and chef Christian Hefti served up Bratwurstversuecherli and french fries in the contemporary kitchen. For dessert, a tasty, sweet cake was on offer in the Bärestube. The hosts had set up a delightful, tastefully decorated long table in the Sanetschstube (the former Bärestübli). Upstairs, the hotel rooms feature a simple décor and comfortable furnishings, with paintings by Gabi Hefti hanging on the walls.
Justine Hewson / AvS