Nestled in the gentle hills of the Madawaska Valley, the Wilno Tavern Restaurant has been offering exceptional hospitality for over 100 years. This historic pub features hearty Polish fare, celebrating the heritage of Wilno’s early pioneer families, as well as a traditional Canadian menu. The tavern is equally famous for vibrant entertainment – Tuesday Nite Blues Jam, as well as rock, country, jazz or folk bands on weekends.
At the Wilno Tavern, we strive to prepare hearty portions homemade with top quality ingredients selected to appeal to a wide variety of personal tastes. Fresh salads, vegetarian selections, meal deals for kids and mouthwatering pies and desserts made on the premises are all available.
Our traditional Polish-Kashub plates feature jumbo pierogies and cabbage rolls made in our kitchens as well as pickled herring (sledzie), Polish sausage and sauerkraut, spiced red cabbage plus much more! This buffet is served every Saturday and Sunday from May to October.
One day again soon, our music will rock the Valley with lineups that ranges from the popular Tuesday Nite Blues Jam to a monthly Country Music House Party on the first Friday of each month. We also look forward to hosting our occasional weekend entertainment features blues, classic rock, reggae and local singer-songwriters.
Over a hundred years ago the Wilno hills rang with the sound of loggers and cross-cut saws harvesting square timbers from the vast pine forests. Soon the hearty Irish, Polish and German pioneers followed, attempting to tame the rugged land.
In 1894 the railroad snaked its way through the Madawaska Valley creating a link to the growing Prairies and opening the beauty of our lakes and hills to the outside world. While working on railroad construction, Ignancy Slominski decided to settle his young family in Wilno. He bought the ”Stopping Place” from John Burchat opposite the new Wilno train station. A dining room, kitchen and more bedrooms were added. The establishment was named the Exchange Hotel.
The village grew quickly serving local farmers and a booming logging industry. As many as twenty trains a day passed through Wilno in the heyday of steam railroading. In 1913, Wilno blacksmith Frank Shulist bought the Exchange Hotel. For seven decades Frank Shulist, his son Tom, and their families developed a spirit of warm hospitality which they shared with travellers, neighbours and friends through times of prosperity, prohibition and change.
The building itself has changed somewhat since 1894. But the legacy of hospitality has been inherited by today’s Wilno Tavern and is combined with a pride in the tradition of Wilno’s founding pioneers.