“Now Shines The WillowTree Cafe!” Tanka 2095

(October 4, 2018)

Germans Are Coming!

Yes, The Germans Are Coming!!

Downtown Sanford Fest!!!


Willow Tree Cafe Meister

says it’s OktoberFest time*!

*(Long has Hollerbach’s WillowTree Cafe in downtown Sanford, Florida, celebrated Oktoberfest and this year’s October 12-14 extravaganza – which coincides nicely with the second Thursday monthly downtown Sanford Street Party known as Alive After Five! locally, the area’s longest-running continuously held street party, is no coincidence.  Head of the frolic daughter Christina Hollerbach now that she has assumed the mantle from her mom and pop, Linda and Theo, is the one to blame for the dancers, the singers, the music, the food and, yes, The Beer! The Alive After Five street party is Themed annually this month as Oktoberfest and it is worth the trip.  All those delightful duds for the distaff set just demand a dance.  The dudes’ duds, too, for all ages of both inclinations are hawked at the downtown town’s German haberdashery, located just steps from the restaurant which began life long ago as a simple, small soup (mostly) kitchen in a slice of the then-modest slice of the 200 block of East First Street.  That was 17 years ago.  Now the towns largest private employer has half the block – from alley to Magnolia Square – and stretches around the corner to the Hollerbach’s Outfitters German clothing store and just steps past a Hollerbach-graduate’s brew shop you come to the secret (not so anymore!) delights of Magnolia Square Market, which Theo proudly boasts as A True German Deli.  What you can’t get in there is so small a list I shan’t complain about the lack of large containers of hazelnuts for my biscotti.  That and the picnic benches stretching from Magnolia Square to Second Street (and, beyond? It’s happened before) with live music and dancing and other delights coming from the kitchens and taps, it’s easy to see why Sanford, Florida goes German each year come Oktoberfest.

And, smiling, ever-smiling angel Linda Hollerbach is to blame.  She’s the genius and business master and master baker behind the scenes, smiling not at all secretly how her family has helped Sanford and The Hollerbachs prosper.

Long ago I knew members of a jazz-rock fusion band from the local community college who flung out a song they called: Oviedo (a nearby city just on the Sanford-Orlando cusp) The Town That Ate Orlando.  Well, The Hollerbachs: The Family That Taught Sanford To Party With Food And Drink & More!

6 thoughts on ““Now Shines The WillowTree Cafe!” Tanka 2095

    • Throngs put padded posteriors onto too-thin benchseats at too-narrow picnic benches to slosh beer on each other, clang elbows eating industrial-delivered foods much better served at any OTHER time of the year and drink out of real glass – or their own German-style beer mugs – and call it a festival. I attend not. Prefer I to quieter times when service abounds and my selections prepared unassembly-line style. Color me cur- I do mudgeon well, no? Any excuse for good beer and even passable attempts at good food gratefully acknowledged – I just wanna wait to participate. I get a beer from the german deli – also part of the Hollerbach cartel – and soak in the songs, the dancing and the atmosphere and share shouts with pals – also sideliners or simply ownership or management – as they take gulps of calm from the air between crices.

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  1. I hear you preachin’ sistah! For me a crowd is just right – around three-to-seven – if I’ve known them a generation or more and we are given space by custom though we return the favor by courtesy. But this burg burgeons and youngifies itself so much: and the prices! Will force a sane man to work for his swill! ‘Sides, It’s hard to beat my garden and my lamb shoulder shivvering in a nice cool marinade fearing what The Coals will perform in its repose in lemon, olive oil, garlic, shallots, rosemary and sage…cracked peppercorns and perhaps a gill or so of cabernet.

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