Moonwinks History

“Moonwinks Restaurant” is located in what was the first settlement in the Cuba area; a thriving community of the early 1800’s called “Cadytown”. Cadytown was expected to be the business center of the area since the early settlers tended to avoid the swampy lowlands and build on the higher ground to the north.

Stephen Cady built his gristmill on Oil Creek in 1818; then he and his partner, Jacob Baldwin, added a sawmill. Business in Cadytown thrived. Mr. Cady moved on westward in 1835, but the settlement prospered, spurred on by the building of the Genesee Valley Canal, the Cuba Lake Reservoir to feed the Canal, and the Erie Railroad to link Cuba with communities to the north.

In the years following, Milo Baldwin operated an elegant “Reservoir House” on this site. It was the setting for many gala balls and social events. The Reservoir House was completely destroyed by fire in 1887, and folklore has it that Mr. Baldwin’s niece dressed so hastily to escape the fire, that she left her bustle behind!

At some time prior to 1936, there was a summer hamburger stand here, run by Jay and Ella Hendryx. Then on July 16, 1936, 1 small square restaurant owned by George (Sep) Hendryx and managed by Floyd and Mildred (Shine and Mid) Seeley was opened.

The business grew, the building was expanded, and the restaurant now needed a name. A contest was held, and from the 137 entries, the Seeleys and Mr. Hendryx chose “Moonwinks”. Mr. Douglas Petty of Olean was paid $5.00 for his suggestion. Flo Louise (Stubby) Trenkle designed the now familiar logo.

Over the next four decades, various people owned and operated Moonwinks. After being unused for two years, a group of local people purchased Moonwinks in 1991, and continue to expand, remodel and improve the restaurant to better serve our guests.