MINSTER – The Wooden Shoe Inn, a Minster landmark since 1933, will continue its tradition as a family-owned business. Fred Meyer, owner of the Wooden Shoe for over 50 years, has sold the business and building to brewer Andy C. Phlipot, of Minster.
Members of the Meyer family had operated the business since 1933 and the Phlipot family say they will continue the family-owned style of business with a larger menu and an updated dining area.
Phlipot said the business will close at the end of the year and after about six weeks of work on the interior, the new business will open with ADA compliant restrooms, as well as fresh wallpaper, paint and carpet in the dining area.
He said they plan to keep the old bar close to the original appearance. The historic back bar was installed many decades ago and area is full of vintage Wooden Shoe Inn memorabilia.
The kitchen will be upgraded to accommodate items on their expanded menu, some with a German flair.
Phlipot said what they want is a casual style dining experience.
“And I have been reminded dozens of times,” he said, “to never, ever, stop making the Wooden Shoe Inn signature fried chicken and fries.”
He said they will expand the menu to include more items besides the popular chicken.
“My son, Joe, will take over as chef once the restaurant opens around mid-to-late February,” said Phlipot. He also said his niece, Kaitlin Pence ,will work with the Minster Historical Society to get photos of buildings in the community.
He said his wife, Brianna, has been a very important partner in this process of opening up their new business and then even the younger Phlipot family members want in.
“My youngest two daughters, Kate and Ava, are very excited to begin their career of wrapping silverware and bussing tables,” said Phlipot with a smile. “Kate recently claimed this activity when she told her ‘Mom, it is a family business, you know.’”
Features of the new business model include the addition of two signature beers with roots in another historic landmark, the Wooden Shoe brewery, which was located on Ohio Street in Minster. From old recipes, Phlipot said he recreated an updated version of a lager and bock which he has been brewing since 2002. Tailspin Brewery of Coldwater is brewing the beer.
Phlipot said he came by his love all things Wooden Shoe through his father Eugene, who had collected dozens of pieces of Wooden Shoe brewery items.
“Dad even had a miniature model of the Rathskeller that once was in the brewery,” he said.
The new owner said he and Meyer had talked 14 or 15 years ago because Phlipot saw some synergy in combining the Wooden Shoe Inn with his recreation of the Wooden Shoe Brewery beer brands. But Meyer had told him then he was just not ready to retire at that time.
Phlipot said what moved him to buy the business now was when he heard another buyer was considering buying the property.
“I just couldn’t stand the thought of that building being turned into an office building or apartments,” he said. The building was built in 1889, “and it is in just as good a shape as it ever was.”
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.