Windmill Tavern to Reopen Dec. 14

The new owner says he wants to 'bring back history to Hollister Heights' with the remodeling.

A remodeled Windmill Tavern will reopen under new ownership on Dec. 14.

"You can see from our photos that we are not just 'dusting' off the place," reads a post on the Facebook page of the long-time Stratford establishment. "We are going down to bare walls and floor. The gorgeous bar is taking some time but that's because we want to get it just right."

The hot dogs -- which were awarded Stratford Patch Readers' Choice best in town -- will still be on the menu, along with the burgers, kielbasa and other Windmill favorites, according to John Vazzano, who bought the property about three weeks ago.

"It'll have the same feel," said Vazzano, who owns several area restaurants, including Vazzy's on Broadbridge Avenue in Bridgeport. He said he sold Vazzy's of Stratford about six months ago.

"We are researching this and they say it's one of the oldest taverns in the area," Vazzano said. 

The restauratuer from Trumbull said he wants to "bring back history to Hollister Heights." So he's stripping the paneling and exposing the brick and beams, which "will add to the warmth" of the restaurant.

Other renovations include new floors and bathrooms and 19 additional TVs. Also, a one-size pizza will be added to the menu, Vazzano said.

"Soon, very soon those award-winning hot dogs and ice cold beer will be available to you," read the Facebook post. "Just make sure when you come in you take a look around and notice the love and care we put in to make your visit to the Windmill Tavern a great one."

OldManTeenager November 13, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Thankfully this renovation is happening. The old place was disgusting.
Kevin Stagg November 13, 2012 at 03:14 PM
"Disgusting" is a bit strong! Sure, it had seen better days. But it was a legendary Stratford landmark. I wish Rudy & Marco the best in their future endeavors, and I wish John Vazzano the best of luck in restoring The Windmill!
Walt November 13, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Now they just have to restore the neighborhood
Baffled Resident November 13, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Meh. The only possible restoration would be to just rename the whole general area. Maybe they could call it the borough of Bridgeford?
Jim Miron November 13, 2012 at 06:10 PM
It is true that, like the Windmill, the area has had seen better days but there are many, many, hard working citizens that make up the neighborhood known as Hollister Heights. It is a classic, working families, blue collar neighborhood. Please do not insult the the good and hard working people that live in this neighborhood, which happens to be my neighborhood!
Jim Miron November 13, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Looking forward to the "New" Windmill! Thanks to the owners of it for investing in a local treasure in our community!
Baffled Resident November 13, 2012 at 06:56 PM
It isn't an insult directed toward the residents per se. It's more of an indictment of Stratford P.D. The specter of the Carolyn Nah's of the world caused the PD to stop setting up shop at McDonald's/St. Michael's/C-Town Plaza/etc. Their absence from these locations isn't helping. They need to go back to policing the way they used to, lawsuits be damned, esquire Miron.
Jim Miron November 13, 2012 at 08:00 PM
"Baffled Resident": What specifically do you think the police are not doing? And what would them doing what you think they are not doing coudl change the neighborhood?
Baffled Resident November 13, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Simple. SPD needs to go back to their old method of policing whereby they had cruisers stationed at McD's/Cemetery/C-Town virtually 24/7. It served as a great deterrent to keep interlopers from coming over the line and bringing their "baggage" into your neighborhood.
stick lee November 13, 2012 at 11:08 PM
So true "baffled" ,worked for years in bpt. And while conversing with fellow workers who live in bpt. It was mentioned numorous times they stayed clear of "the line " knowing the "man " was parked somewhere in the shadows watching.
Mike Reynolds November 14, 2012 at 12:16 AM
So Mr. Miron when are you announcing your candidacy for Mayor?
Maria L Bruno November 14, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Looking forward to the "new" Windmill!! It's been a part our family history for years!!
Jim Miron November 14, 2012 at 02:20 AM
"Baffled Resident" - I hear you. However, it probably is a bit of an oversimplification to say the whole neghborhood is what it is because of what you are implying. In any event, as long as good people still live here, and businesses continue to invest here there is hope that better days are ahead!
Jim Miron November 14, 2012 at 02:21 AM
I have no such plans at this time.
Baffled Resident November 14, 2012 at 02:45 AM
I probably am oversimplifying it a bit, but i still think that having to deal with certain "elements" can wear down even the best people. I probably shouldn't be quite as critical about SPD's methods either. They're probably taking some directives from town attorney's with regard to the perception of "profiling".
Mike Reynolds November 14, 2012 at 07:21 PM
I love "at this time". Very lawyerly of you. I have a feeling if Mr. Harkins decides not to run you'll be on the phone to Dick Burturla pretty quick.
Laura Dobosz November 14, 2012 at 07:49 PM
I grew up at the windmill and have known Rudy my entire life. My Grandfather worked there as did my Father - to supplement their income part time and support their families. I never experienced any kind of "Element". Granted I was never there late at night, but even the most expensive of bars have "elements" (whatever that means) at closing time. I hope the new owners can do even half the job that Rudy did!
Jim Miron November 14, 2012 at 08:37 PM
"Mike Reynolds" LOL! First, I am sure the incumbent, Mr. Harkins will run again. After all, he orchestrated a nice raise for himself. Second, I have no plans to run at this time is not lawyerly but just true. Never say never. Third, IF (and that is a BIG and hypothetical 'if") I did run it would not be as a Democrat or Republican as I believe the two party system in Stratford is to blame for much of the inertia and "politics". IF I was to run (and that is a big and hypothetical "if") I would run as a candidate that would - because of a lack of party affiliation - be able to work with Democrats and Republicans equally. My hope would be that both parties woudl be willing to work with me (and I them). But again - I have no such plans at this time.
Loren November 15, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Glad to hear the new owners will keep some of the old time menu items. This place is historical and any efforts to maintain it as a neighborhood mainstay are welcome. My parents met here over 40 years ago and my Mom still lives in the house she was born in a few blocks up the road. Will be visiting after they open for sure.
Scott November 15, 2012 at 07:54 PM
They better not thow out the seers ass
Scott November 15, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Michael Munz November 16, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Looking forward to the new beginning of the windmill!
Laura Dobosz November 19, 2012 at 03:57 PM
One thing Rudy always did was host a Christmas Eve party. Open bar and food. It went from about 11:00 - 1:00 or 2:00 I think. It was a very nice gesture though, for his regulars. I wonder if the new owers will do the same.


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