Brew-haha! Owner of Brickmakers and Charlie P’s Out of Money

Two popular Viennese venues are on the verge of bankruptcy, losing customers to “hot summers” and a misreading of the market.

Viennese brewer and pub owner Brian Patton is out of money and out of time. Following a bankruptcy hearing Thursday July 18 in Vienna Commercial Court, Patton is said to be quickly filing a motion to cease operations at both venues, each estimated to be some €800,000 in debt, according to creditors. In court, Patton talked of significant sales declines due to summer heat, according to, a city information site. Although the company has tried to find new financial backing, “intensive efforts to win an investor have failed,” said a spokesman for KSV1870, a credit protection association working with the company.

Charlie P’s and Brickmakers

Charlie P’s is a very popular Irish-style pub frequented by college students, international business people and tourists that overflows onto Währinger Straße most evenings Thursday through Saturday nights. However attempts to upgrade the menu – from basic pub food i.e. burgers, hotdogs and fries, to oysters and imported Irish beef – seem to have backfired. However objectively good, they were not always successful with the clientele and may partly explain the loss of revenue. “It was tasty, but who goes to a Pub for extravagant food,” said Robert Steinhauser, a business student and regular at Charlie P’s.

The second venue, Brickmakers on Zieglergasse, has a barbeque-grill menu and a crowded Schanigarten every night of the week, so also seems like an unlikely candidate for bankruptcy. The pub had trouble expanding their foot traffic and without new investment to relieve the debt, the owner says, he does not intend to continue operations.


Good news for all patrons of Charlie P’s, as of July 30th a new operator has stepped in to take over the business, which will sublet the location from the Ottakring Brewery. His name is Ronan Smith. Smith was a Charlie P’s employee for 20 years and was considered the “right-hand man” of Brian Patton.

(CORRECTION, August 10: A previous version of this article incorrectly said that Charlie P‘s has been purchased by the Ottakringer Brewery. This has been corrected. We also incorrectly wrote that that location of Brickmakers had moved — it considered moving, according to an employee; this error was introduced during the editing process. We apologize for the confusion and thank readers for bringing these errors to our attention.)



Karl Neuwinger
Born 1988 in Boston, MA, USA. Started writing at a young age and was published in The New York Times for varies poetic entries. Worked in the film industry as a Director of Photography with writing credentials for The History Channel and numerous independent films around the east coast of the U.S. A jack-of-all-trades, he has sold art, dairy products and also framed houses. After working as a telecommunications engineer for over 10 years, he followed his passion for writing to Vienna and ended up on Metropole’s doorstep.

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