Archived Topics

Jim's Coffee Spot

Posted By: John D. Sullivan
Date: Thursday, 25 January 2001, at 12:28 a.m.

Don't forget Jims Coffee Spot which for over thirty two or so years had some of the best grinders ever made in this town.

I have been told by many that Jim and Peggy Sullivan made some of the best grinders in town and that the meat sauce and grinder sauce that they made was fantastic. I should know. I was the second of three sons who worked there for my parents. They ran the business at 862(?) Main Street from St. Patricks Day of 1953 to December 31 of 1984. It was located between the two movie theaters, the Capitol and the Gem and with the local Y being the place to be (this was before and after the Y was rebuilt). Also their business went back to the days when all the stores in town were open late on Thursdays and lasted until all of the business moved out. I remember going to Mazzola's and so on. Some of the stores were Jenals right across the street, Terry's owned by the Rosenbergs on the corner, the old Windham Tech down the block and all of the owner of Hyde's to LaMonts news stand. And next door was Frank Seaforts Drug Store. There are too many to mention that came and went. Benny Hochburg sold the building to Eastern and the girls used the place as a dorm. Sam Moskowitz had his furniture store on the other side of my parents place (Star Furniture) and up a little farther was the bowling alley and then later on a place that sold all sorts of Ebsmit's and a package store.

There is too much to tell. As far as the restaurant goes if you are going to give credit to Remey's give it to them all -- even the Italian Garden was up there by the old Wili building. 


Posted By: Bill S & Barbara S <>
Date: Friday, 26 January 2001, at 10:33 p.m.

In Response To: Jim's Coffee Spot (John D. Sullivan)

Dear John, Boy did you bring back memories. My mother owned Jenal's and I worked there until I married Bill and moved South. I had lunch and great conversations with your parents at Jim's coffee Spot for years. 


Jim's Coffee Spot Again

Posted By: John D. Sullivan
Date: Sunday, 28 January 2001, at 8:43 a.m.

It's good that people recall Jim's Coffee Spot. Also on Main Street back then was Callahan's newsstand next to Jenals on the right facing the store, and somewhere across from my dad's place there was Henry's Bakery. On my father's side of the street I forgot to mention Mario's Pastry Store which was there for years. Benny Hochberg sold the old Nathan Hale building which had a drug store in it owned by a Jack and Edyth Harrison. And of course there was Rob Roy either in or next to the Hotel Hooker before he moved across the street and after he moved up the street from the lower part of Main Street. I don't remember the exact dates.

I went to school at the old St Joseph's and as I grew older I was allowed to walk to the restaurant where I would meet my parents. I soon got tired of walking one way so after a while I would take every street there was in that section to get to my parents. I saw a lot of stores in those days. On February 14th of 1968 when every one was talking about moving the High School, the town needing a bridge and of course Rt. 6, I left Brand Rex to go to my dads and only because I knew the local policeman I was allowed onto Main street to put away all the supplies that would come every night. That was the day of the famous fire in town and as I walked down to take a good look at it I said to another local cop I knew that there goes Willimantic, and sure enough it did start to disappear some time later on.

As for Jim's Coffee Spot, I was there working part time from 61 to 68. My brother Mike or Jim was there in the fifties until 61, and brother Tom there from 68 until I have no idea. I saw a lot of things in that place. It was like being a bar tender at times and other times it was so busy that you didn't even think of the time and I was only a kid at first. 


Posted By: John D. Sullivan <>
Date: Sunday, 28 January 2001, at 1:17 p.m.

In Response To: Jim's Coffee Spot Again (John D. Sullivan)

I goofed iy was Csrroll's Pastry across the street and there was the army recruiter close to it and next to Jims was the Air Force Recruiter. 


Posted By: Robert Zuar <>
Date: Sunday, 28 January 2001, at 8:38 p.m.

In Response To: Jim's Coffee Spot Again (John D. Sullivan)

I just found this website and it brought back such fond memories of Willimantic. I moved out in 1970 and landed in Boston. I visited my mother today and drove by what I think used to be Jim's Coffee Spot. Was that the home of the famous foot long hot dog? If it is I remember eating there with my brother Ron and his friend Larry Haines. Also what was the famous fire in 1968? 


Posted By: Rick Simmons <>
Date: Monday, 29 January 2001, at 7:39 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Jim's Coffee Spot Again (Robert Zuar)

Hi Bob, The fire in 1968 was when the block on Main St., between Church St.and the old Union St.,burned. I think it was on Feb.14 and is usually called the Valentine's Day Fire.It was the block that held Church-Reed,Sherwin-Williams Paints,and the Lincoln Shop if my memory is correct. If you graduated from Windham High in 1968,then you and I went to school together.You would have known me as George,not Rick. (Rick comes from my middle name) Nice to see old friends get back to their hometowns once in awhile.I'm still close by in Lebanon and have watched a lot of change in Windham/Willimantic over the years and it's nice to have a site like this where you can look back on what it was like before so much was torn down in the 1970's. 


Posted By: William Brainard <>
Date: Sunday, 28 January 2001, at 11:46 p.m.

In Response To: Jim's Coffee Spot Again (John D. Sullivan)

I think the night of the big fire we were getting sundaes at Friendlys. I can remember going home to Coventry and climbing up on our barn roof (cold, cold!) and seeing the odd yellow glow and what seemed like steam which was smoke from the fire. For years I went to Dr. Kusmer who was my dentist at 828 Main St. Recall walking by Jim's and seeing the foot-long franks. It was sad when Dr. Kusmer retired in 1991. I saw him at the Coventry Flea Market one Sunday several years ago. A very nice person. My neighbor in Coventry went to him from 1946 when he first started practicing till he retired 10 years ago. 


Posted By: Rev.Gordon Chaisson <>
Date: Sunday, 4 February 2001, at 4:42 p.m.

In Response To: Jim's Coffee Spot Again (John D. Sullivan)

John,I don't know if you remember me ,I was the altarboy for your brother Mike when He got married at St.Joseph's Church.My Mom worked for your Dad for a short time when Betty Holmes took ill. My Dad was a bartender at the I G.I can recall so much.Does anyone remember Adams Market on Valley and Bank Street,best meat in town And lets not forget the candy. Lets keep the memories going.From altarboy at St.Mary and St.Joseph's church To Bishop of the Orthodox Church in Tampa FL Thank You all for the memories. More to come soon.


Jim and Peg Sullivan

Posted By: Larry Haines
Date: Wednesday, 31 January 2001, at 6:40 a.m.

During the late 50s and early 60s Jim's Coffee Spot was the afternoon hang out for many of the teenagers from Windham High. During that time Windham was home to many of the regions High School Students from the surrounding towns. What are now E O Smith and Parrish Hill students attended Windham High School and many of them spent afternoon hours at Jim's. Jim's Coffee Spot was one place where you could hang out with many people from many areas. I am happy to see that Windham High School and E O Smith are practicing interchanges now that occurred naturally at Jim's.

My first job was washing dishes in the back room of Jim's and from that small window between the back room and the eating area I learned plenty about people. At that time Main Street was a thriving hub and it seemed that almost everyone you knew came to Jim's. I soon moved up to taking orders and making Milk Shakes (Malted if requested) and at slow times Jim even let me work the grill. When it was busy, only Peg or Jim could keep all of the orders straight. The best thing about working at Jim's was that you ate for free and I sure did my share of that. Now that I think of it so did everyone else that worked there.

Jim and Peg were loved and respected by everyone who knew them. Most knew Peg better than they knew Jim because Jim was the silent type. He only spoke when he had something important to say or to give someone sorely needed guidance. Jim did more than anyone I know to give the proper direction to many of the young bad boys of the time. They would come in with their hair in DAs and cigarettes rolled up in their tee shirt sleeves, acting tough, but all it took was a look from Jim and they would calm right down. Jim's was a safe haven and rarely was there any trouble.

Jim's had its Hero's Wall located next to the Milk Shake Machine and it was full of pictures sent to him from the many young people who were customers of Jim's that had entered the Service. Mine was up there and I remember how proud I was when I came home on leave to see it up there. That was Jim and Peg, they knew how to make you feel special. I remember receiving a thick envelope addressed from Jim's that contained at least 30 letters from the friends that took over my spot in the end booth. It sure did a lot for boosting my spirits.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my memories. If I can think of any more experiences that I can share I will send them along.

Larry Haines former Town of Windham, Selectman, nowliving in Marietta, GA. 


Posted By: Robert Thompson <THOMPSON.ROBERT@TUCSON.VA.GOV>
Date: Wednesday, 31 January 2001, at 2:37 p.m.

In Response To: Jim and Peg Sullivan (Larry Haines)

I left Willie in 51 and have been away from there for quite sometime but for some reason I can't seem to remember exactly where Jim's Coffe Spot was located??????