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!