As early as 1903 Brewster had a business known as the City Grocery and Restaurant. The concern carried groceries, tobacco and crockery and served meals at all hours. Four years later KELLER and SIMPSON opened a new restaurant serving hot and cold lunches. They carried a complete line of home baked goods and would possibly be considered our first bakery. A restaurant was run by George NELSON in connection with our pool hall.
In 1915 Ed MANUEL opened a soft drink parlor in his building, the one that stood by the present EVERSON Hardware and was torn down a number of years ago.
The City Restaurant in 1916 was run by Fred and Ray NELSON. Meals and lunches were served; they carried soft drinks, cigars, candy, and ice cream. They moved into the rooms over the restaurant and ordered a new electric sign. This was the KRUKEMEYER building. This business changed ownership a number of times during the year. It was purchased by DOUGLAS and EWARDS of Lehigh, Iowa, who in turn sold it to James THOMAS of Spooner, Wisconsin. Clarence PHILLIPS of Lehigh, Iowa was a cook for both of his owners. In the same year, this cook rented the business from Mr. THOMAS and engaged the former owner Thomas EDWARDS to help him. Special attention was given to dances and dinner parties. To make the transactions a bit more confusing Thomas EDWARDS bought the business again from PHILLIPS and engaged him as a helper. In 1917 Pete LUDWIG, local carpenter for the past few years and Taylor MOHAN, who had been in his employ, tried their hand at the culinary arts, purchasing the City Restaurant. Mr. LUDWIG found he would rather wield a hammer than a spoon and sold his share to MOHAN. Lorena WEY BAUCHLE began her restaurant career by working for MOHAN in 1917. Henry POEHLER and Mary AHRENS were also in his employ.
The next year MOHAN moved his restaurant into the BLY building, now occupied by Sam PALMER. This was known as the City Restaurant. Claude OBER started a café in the KRUKEMEYER building and had to find a new name so he dubbed it the Metropolitan Restaurant. In 1919 he quit the café business and started a grocery store.
Before we get too far advanced we might recall in 1916 a Mr. HAMSMITH rented the MANUEL building and started a cafe. The following year he sold his fixtures to Stordon parties.
By 1920 the City Restaurant had taken on the name of Brewster Café and was purchased by Eric and Ed CARLSON who changed the name to the Legion Café. Stella MATTESON (Mrs. Glen TOWE) of Fulda was the cook. The café handled fresh bakery goods. Other helpers I have been told included a Miss SCHRADER, Christina HARTMAN, and Mrs. A.C. MILLER.
In 1921 A.C. MILLER bought the Legion Café. Four years later they installed a new Frigidaire Ice Cream cabinet, so that people might enjoy brick ice cream, eskimo pies and lollipops the same as in larger villages and cities.
MILLER’S continued here until 1937, when they purchased the building formerly occupied by EBERT’S Garage and repaired and remodeled it for a café. In 1946 MILLER’S retired from business selling to Bert CARLSON, who left in 1952 to run a theatre in Ocheydan, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Jack MILLER were then the proprietors until 1954 when Anne REILLY and Mable KLEIN bought it. After eight months, on a partnership basis, Mabel KLEIN bought the REILLY interest and is the present operator of Mabel’s Café. Employed at this writing are Mrs. Etta KRUSE, Catheryn WAKEMAN, and Chris and Mabel KLEIN. Part time help includes Sadie PARKER and Lorena BAUCHLE.
In 1931 S.W. BROWN opened “Happy’s Coffee Shop” in the old post office building, the next year it was run by Mr. and Mrs. Charles WING and known as WING’S Lunch Room. In 1932 SILVER’S Lunch was started by Dan SILVER, Julia BERREAU and Bernadine SCHUERKAMP. Three years later SILVER’S moved to the BERRY Building (present Red Owl) vacated by BECKER’S store. In 1939 they moved to new quarters in the GYERMAN Store Building purchased by BECKER. Frank DATZMAN did remodeling. Later when BECKER enlarged his stock, SILVER’S moved into the MANUEL Store Building across the street, where they remained until they disposed of their business to Lee DITCH in 1948. This housed DITCH’S Café until it was destroyed by fire in December of 1949. Mr. DITCH rebuilt and is still the proprietor in 1958 in these new quarters.
In 1934 Steve VAN WESTON purchased a discarded R.R. Coach and moved it to a location between the fire hall and Ray CLARK’S machine shed. He remodeled it and opened “Steve’s Diner.” He sold it to Morris SAMPSON the following year.
In 1935 Art MANUEL opened a Lunch room in the building now occupied by SWEENEY’S. He called it “The Cozy Inn.” Employees included Curtis POTTHAST and Tom BIRKLAND. In 1936 it was run by Heinie VON BEHREN. Other names mentioned in connection with the café were Gusta DEMOORE and Alfred OLSON.
In 1939 Mr. and Mrs. Bill WILDANGER were the new proprietors.
In 1943 Sadie PARKER opened “Sadies Eat Shop” in the building known as the A.W. WELLS office.
The year of 1945 found LANNINGS opening a café in the BLY Building, but the following year opened in the WELLS Building.
In 1947 LANNING’S sold to Richard and Corkey KOLANDER of Lakefield. At this time Bill WILDANGER decided he had better do a bit of remodeling as the floor of his building was not in the best of condition and Tim COTTER was forced to top-toe when walking behind the bar, so as not to fall through. Thus, a new floor.
In 1949 Earl KAUFMAN bought KOLANDER’S Café. The following year it was run by Arnold HABBENS of Worthington for about two weeks and KAUFMAN again became proprietor. As early morning fire in 1951 resulted in a loss of $2,000 but the building was repaired and a café re-opened by Mr. and Mrs. Dave NOLDE of Worthington. It was later sold to Bud WHITE, who, when he quit, sold the equipment at auction.
In 1950 Bill’s Café was purchased by Alan MCNAB. In 1955 Mr. and Mrs. John EISCHENS ran this business followed by Don SWEENEY in 1957 and now operating as SWEENEY’S Tavern.
In 1954 Bill and Morva WILDANGER remodeled at the Hotel and started a Steak House in Brewster where, besides the regular menu, Bill specializes in all varieties of rare delicacies.