make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Building History: Winnie's Tavern

READ MORE:
 

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's a landmark down by the dock. With trucks, trains and ships, there are plenty of hungry people. At lunchtime they head to Winnie’s tavern.

This isn't Winnie although a lot of people think she is. Jeannie Johnson has run the tavern for a 22 years. Johnson, like her mother Winnie Swanson, is close to the customers and works at the state port.

"I'm a checker with the International Longshoremen's union," Johnson said. "I check cargo on and off the ships or tell them what to put on, what to put off."

Johnson's mom worked hard all of her life.

"She worked at the shipyard. She was Rosie the riveter," Johnson said. "When she was pregnant with me, she was in the hole at the shipyard."

Swanson saw this opportunity in 1962.

"She bought the tavern and the trailer park, the whole block, and she proceeded to work herself into paying for it," Johnson said.

Swanson was a good business woman.

"And she watched her pennies," Johnson said. "She never gave anybody a beer, and if she got off and she came on the other side of the bar, you still had to buy her a beer, or she wouldn't talk to you for free."

But a new sign outside the tavern has some worried. Johnson says it's time to let someone else run the place.

"I would personally like to see somebody come in here and take it and run with it," she said.

Winnie's has been in her family for most of her life, and Johnson knows what she will miss.

"Oh, my customers and all my mother's customers," she said. "We've had some of the nicest. It's so sad. So many of our really good customers have gone."

Winnie's is at 1895 Burnett Blvd., and they'd love for you to stop in for a burger and visit a while.

If you know of a building with lots of history that you'd like to see featured, send Chris Phillips an e-mail at cphillips@wwaytv3.com

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

»

Best burger

This is BY FAR the best burger in Wilmington. The "spicy" mayonnaise they make and have available makes everything even better. I really hope this wonderful place stays open so I can continue to take "newbies" into this classic joint for the burger of a lifetime!!

I WAS BORN AND RAISED AT 411

I WAS BORN AND RAISED AT 411 NORTH CAROLINA AVENUE.(THE ADDRESS IS DIFFERENT NOW AS THEY,V REVERSED THE NUMBERS) ONE BLOCK FROM WINNIES. FIRST IT WAS DOWLINGS GROCERY STORE. THEY HAD A PONY ( FOR THE GRAND CHILDREN, MARY ALICE AND BUZZY) THAT WAS ALWAYS GETTING LOOSE, AND EVERYONE CHASING AND CATCHING THEM WE WENT THERE EVERY NIGHT FOR A 5 CENT 12 OUNCE PEPSI. THAT WAS OUR TREAT. LATER I LIVED IN A TRAILER WITH MY TWO OLDEST GIRLS WHILE MY HUSBAND WAS ON CONSTRUCTION JOBS IN OTHER COUNTRIES. THERE, I MET A COUPLE, THAT ENDED UP BEING MY NEIGHBORS (AND VERY GOOD FRIENDS ON MONROE ST. FOR 22 YEARS. WE WOULD EAT PIZZA AND HE WOULD BUY THE GIRLS CHEER WINE. HE PASSED AWAY IN 87 AND I,M STILL FRIENDS WITH HIS WIFE. SHES 91 AND IN A HEALTH FACILITY. GREAT MEMORIES. I WAS BORN IN 1935.