During the Germany pavilion's initial development, the location that would eventually house Sommerfest was earmarked as the entrance for the pavilion's planned Rhine River Cruise attraction . Originally foreseen as an opening day attraction, plans for the River Cruise were eventually pushed back to EPCOT Center's Phase II. Despite this, a large show building which would have housed the attraction's queue and load area was constructed . The entrance to this building was to be through an archway next to the Biergarten entrance. When the first guests walked through the Germany pavilion on October 1, 1989, the archway simply housed a set of wooden doors that were inaccessible to guests.
By the late 1980s, it was clear that the Rhine River Cruise would not be forthcoming. Finally, in 1989 , the counter service Sommerfest restaurant opened in the former location of the attraction's planned entrance. If guests look at the back of the restaurant, they can see a large mural of a German countryside. This wall and mural replaced the wooden doors that had been present on opening day.
Since opening, Sommerfest has not seen any major changes. In September 2013, however, the restaurant received a new menu .