Last call at The Old Corner Cafe

John Woermer

John Woermer

The lunchtime crowd has left, and John Woermer is behind the bar washing glasses.

Woermer’s presence at the Old Corner Cafe in Naugatuck is as connected to the 98-year­old, one-room tavern as the tin ceiling and broad picture window.

The trim, smiling borough native with the calm focus of a diamond cutter was 30 when, after working for a Ford deal­ership, he bought the North Main Street bar. That was in April 1972, when Schaefer, Reingold and Ballentine Ale were on tap; you needed only to be 18 to drink; and smoking was allowed.

This week, the 68-year-old Woermer will pull his last draft as owner of the Old Cor­ner. He has sold the bar to an­other local businessman.

“It’s been a good ride,” he says, relaxed in the nearly empty establishment that is bathed in golden afternoon light. “I’ll miss the people. This is my kingdom.” Continue reading