German restaurant’s beer and pretzels help Sanford get Gemütlichkeit


THE PLACE: Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe began as a dream for Linda and Theo Hollerbach back in the 80s. In 2001, the couple opened their German restaurant in the historic district of Sanford and have been growing ever since. They’ve even added a German deli and clothing store in recent years. Their daughter Christina is the Chief Operations Officer and is leading the charge to expand the restaurant that started it all. A rooftop biergarten, lounge and more restrooms are the highlights of the project that officially launched last year.

FUN FACT: Hollerbach’s slogan is, “where Gemütlichkeit happens.” But what exactly does Gemütlichkeit mean? The answer is that it doesn’t actually translate into anything in English but the sentiment is Gemütlichkeit is a feeling you get when enjoying good food and drinks with friends and family.  

QUOTABLE: “I think we are just a standard now from being in the community for so long. We have kind of been that steadfast force in Sanford for over a decade,” Christina Hollerbach said.

CHECK IT OUT: Order das Boot which is a 2-3 liter glass boot of beer the next time you’re with your squad. (You must have at least 4 people to drink it). Everyone must remain standing until das Boot is finished and it should NOT touch the table while it has beer in it because it’s bad luck. Most importantly, always point the toe of das Boot towards heaven, Christina says.

COMING IN HOT: Hollerbach’s third annual Springfest (think a springtime Oktoberfest) will be held Saturday April 6th and Sunday April 7th. The outdoor festival will feature German food, beer and entertainment. Not sure what to wear to the event? Stop by Outfitters Trachtenwear which is right next to Hollerbach’s to pick out some traditional German swag.

By Kayla O'Brien
Kayla O’Brien is Pulptown's video producer, former UCF Knight, and current travel enthusiast. You’ll most likely catch her around Orlando in a group bootcamp class, local cocktail bar or cuddling with her black cat Tarot.