The Wildflower Café
& Crooked Rooster Brewpub » About


The Wildflower Cafe - Watkins Glen, NY

 

 

Doug Thayer first imagined the Wildflower Café while part of a road crew charged with repaving NY-14 (North Franklin St.) through Watkins Glen. From atop his blacktop paver, “Boy. That sure would be a cool place for a restaurant.”

Not long after that, in 1990, Watkins Glen’s most iconic restaurant opened its doors. The restaurant received immediate acclaim from locals, tourists, and critics. Doug had a hit on his hands.

Doug’s menu focused on simple food and creative presentations, often daring to be on the cutting edge of the upstate NY food scene.

It grew so much, actually, that Doug opened another space, The Crooked Rooster Pub, which opened in 1998. Again, Doug found enormous success with “The Rooster,” which operated next door to the Wildflower.

The pub started out by offering traditional Irish fare, and like the Wildflower, enjoyed immediate success.

In 2002, Doug began a small brewing experiment that would later become Rooster Fish Brewing, one of the Finger Lakes’ most recognizable brands. That’s also when the restaurants evolved into a two-headed establishment with one menu.

We quickly realized that combing craft beer, pub food, and new American cuisine into one pot yielded something that was just gaining popularity across the country: the brewpub.

Today, the Wildflower and Crooked Rooster still operate side by side, with one menu and one kitchen. Both are still decorated how they were on the day they each opened. The Wildflower features exposed brick, beautiful hardwood details, tin ceilings, and timeless photos and art. The Rooster borrows some elements of the Wildflower – historic woodwork and tin ceilings. The pub also features a hand carved bar and a converted ice box cooler. You can also see Rooster Fish Brewing’s original brew system, right in our dining room!

Crooked Rooster Brewpub, Watkins Glen, NY

The menu the two sides share is eclectic but creative. Guests can enjoy gourmet burgers made from local beef, creative entrees, a full beer list of Rooster Fish Brewing Ales, a creative cocktail list, and homemade desserts. The menu features local ingredients wherever possible. Ask your server for the creative weekly specials!

We quickly realized that combing craft beer, pub food, and new American cuisine into one pot yielded something that was just gaining popularity across the country: the brewpub.

Our entire team takes great pride in the food and beverages that we create here, along with the professional, friendly service that you’ll experience during your visit.

The Wildflower Crooked Rooster Brewpub is part of the same company that owns and operates Nickel’s Pit BBQ and Rooster Fish Brewing, too. Along with a talented staff, the restaurant is still run by the Thayer family (Doug’s son Nick, now), along with Executive Chef Trevor Margeson.

In 2015, Rooster Fish Brewing has expanded into a stand-alone facility, but we invite you here to the Wildflower Crooked Rooster Brewpub to see where it all began.


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Wildflower Café / Crooked Rooster Brewpub

Whether a snowy winter evening or a sunny summer lunch, this place always delivers delicious food, tasty beer, and friendly service. They take pride in what they do and it shows. ~ Yelp Review

Wildflower Café &
Crooked Rooster Brewpub

Doug Thayer first imagined the Wildflower Café while part of a road crew charged with repaving NY-14 (North Franklin St.) through Watkins Glen. From atop his blacktop paver, “Boy. That sure would be a cool place for a restaurant.”
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