Revitalizing Downtown Hastings
The history of the Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro building starts in 1866, when William Upjohn sold part of what came to be known as the “Empire Block” in downtown Hastings to William Barlow, John Goodyear and James Sweezy. From the time that the brick building was constructed starting in 1868, it has had a legacy of community activity and quality service. In the 1870s, the building was the Goodyear & Barlow store, but also had two ballrooms on the top floor that were used for community functions. Historic insurance records indicate that the building housed a public event hall (including a billiards and lunch room), and hardware, furniture, clothing, drug and grocery stores in the 1880s and 1890s.
Milan Walldorff and Albert Renkes purchased part of the building in 1893 for their furniture and funeral business, which became Walldorff Brothers when Albert died in 1911 and Harry Walldorff joined his brother Milan. Over the years, the business was known as Walldorff & Son, and eventually as Walldorff Furniture. In 1928, the telephone company was using the building and Reed’s Drug Store started in the building in 1932, but became Gardner’s Pharmacy in 1952. A bank was located in the building during the decade of the ‘50s.Other uses of the building included the C & B Discount Store in the 1960s, and The Cellar Corner Gifts and Gadgets store and the Fuller Furniture Store in the ‘90s. The Walldorff Building has evolved throughout the ages, including the renovation in 1983 that received Barry County's first Historical Building Award.
In 2006, the Walldorff Building was completely revitalized to support yet another pioneering venture… The Walldorff Brewpub & Bistro, which was designed, built, and now functions as a monument dedicated to continuing the aspirations of fine service and community activity.