It was April 1991 when Cindy and David Wollner opened the Main Street Café’ at 900 Main street Willimantic in the somewhat historic former Capitol Theater building.
We had a very simple vision: to provide good food, flavorful coffees, and 16 flavors of gourmet ice creams and frozen yogurt. We operated 6 days a week serving breakfast, lunch, and early dinner.
It was our hope to renovate and restore the beauty of the old theater as a brewpub and cinema but it was not to be. Fate would have it that the space at 877 Main street would become available and we would make our first move across the street and open as a full service Craft Beer restaurant. We served all American beers like those brewed by Sierra Nevada, Boston Beer Company, Harpoon and Shipyard. Plus we offered local favorites such as New England Brewing and New Haven Brewing – many others too. We served lunch and dinner with lots of interesting menu items and especially our killer hot OY Vey wings. We still attempted to build a brewery in that beautiful place but once again the cards were not in our hand, so off we went.
Two wonderful local business folks acquired 967 Main street on Valentines Day 1996 and we were fortunate to lease the building and help them renovate the impressive historic Post Office structure. It took nearly 11 months ’til we were able to finally open our doors with the help of many volunteers and excellent tradespeople on February 8th 1997.
Here we are, 22 years later operating one of the most beautiful brewpubs around!
It’s not just the building, it’s not just the food, it’s not just the beer, it’s not just the employees, it’s not just the community, it’s not just the patrons that makes us beautiful.
It is the sum of all the pieces of this puzzle we call Willibrew or Main Street Café.
We are your brewpub!
Please come visit us and enjoy a piece of Willimantic history, and thank you all for keeping the beers flowing!
Cheers to 22 years!
We still have a lil bit left of a very limited 5 gallon keg of Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout. An extremely robust Imperial Stout aged in Heaven Hill whiskey barrels for about eight months, resulting in a massive (for beer) 15 percent alcohol by volume then infused with Intelligentsia Coffee; the brewery considered 12 varieties before settling on La Tortuga. Get it while you can!
Romantic Willimantic’s Chocolate Festival reminds me that now is a great time to try the various Seasonal brews on the market. Here at Willibrew we will have Southern Tier’s Choklat, Thomas Hooker‘s Chocolate Truffle made with local Munson’s chocolate, Founder‘s Cerise, Berkshire‘s Raspberry Barleywine, and not to be missed our own S.W.A.K Stout (sealed with a kiss of vanilla). We also encourage you to try Sixpoint, represented by their 3Beans Imperial Stout and Widmer with their SXNW.
P.S. for your pleasures we also have Chocolate Martinis and decadent desserts.
I hope you have a hoppy Valentine’s weekend!
Brewer’s Chicken Mac & Cheese – Diced grilled chicken in a rich & creamy beer-cheese sauce, baked with elbow macaroni and topped with crispy potato & bread crumbs. $10.99
Asian Steak Salad – Grilled teriyaki marinated shoulder steak served over an Asian salad of Romaine, mixed field greens, Chinese 5-spice parsnips, roasted Russet potato, roasted peppers, red onion, shredded carrot and broccoli with sesame-ginger vinaigrette. $10.99
Fried Oysters Plate – Lightly fried, cornmeal crusted oysters served with chipotle dipping sauce, corn & black bean salsa and French fries. $18.99
Pan Seared Scallops – Served with carrot-ginger puree, garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. $19.99
Suggested Pairings ~ Sam Adams Winter Ale
Sterling Sauvignon Blanc
Prime Rib of Beef au Jus– Cajun spice rubbed and slow roasted to your liking, served with a baked Russet potato, sautéed squash medley and au jus. King Cut – $21.99….. Queen Cut – $18.99
Suggested Pairings ~ Bass Stout
High Note Malbec
Soup of the Day– New England Clam Chowder
Pint of the Day – Bass Stout
Drink Special – Peach Fizz: Bacardi Peach, Citronage, & 7up – $5
I’m sure many of you beer drinkers often cellar some beers for later sampling hoping that aging them will make them even more delicious than when first tried. As a brewer I have also taken the journey where we do such a good job hiding, we lost a beer for a few years. So in our quest to find a beer for Weird Beer Wednesday a 5 gallon keg of our Iced Dopplebock has been sampled and is now ready for release. This brew was created around 2000A.D., frozen, then hidden, found, hidden again and now on tap for your imbibing. Slightly tart, slightly malty, and lots of ABV this unique and weird beer will be tapped at 5pm.
It sure is fun cleaning out the beer cooler, look for more brews from the cellar. L’Chaim!
Time: 3.5 hours
Beer Style: Stout
Serves: 2 – 3
1 pound beef
1 ounce butter
4 small onions
Half a medium sized pumpkin
7 ounces round carrots
12 ounces sout or pumpkin beer
5 cloves garlic
1 pice of mace or a little nutmeg
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
sugar to taste
Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.
Cut the beef into small chunks and pepper and salt them. On medium-high, melt the butter in a stock pot. Once the butter stops foaming, add the meat. Cook the meat for about 10 minutes, until it’s browned.
Cut up three onions in rough pieces and add them to the meat. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the beer.
Stick the cloves into the remaining onion (you can leave it whole, it will fall apart anyway) and add this together with the mace, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, add pepper and salt and sugar to taste. You don’t want it to be overly sweet. Put a lid on the pot and simmer for approximately two hours.
Add the carrots in and simmer for another half hour before you add the pumpkin. Simmer for another half hour and check if the meat is fall apart tender and the pumpkin well done.
You can add potatoes and mix together with the pumpkin and have a one pot meal, or you can make mashed potatoes and serve those on the site. Sprinkle some freshly grated nutmeg over the mashed potatoes!
Recipe credit goes to: Craftbeer.com
The Great American Beer Fest was a blast! They had over 4300 entries and over 500 breweries pouring their unique and oddball varieties on the festival floor. Sadly we did not garner any medals but I’m looking forward to reading the judges comments.
Many of my fellow brewers were available to talk about recipes and the brewing business. The Governor of Colorado, the honorable John Hickenlooper, gave a toast to the brewers. He was the founder Wynkoop Brewing Company in downtown Denver and he helped revitalize the area.
So now I’m back and ready to brew!
Have a hoppy day!