Still 'Hip' After All These Years: Western Mass Restaurant Nearing 50 And Going Strong

Not many Northampton restaurants can say they were part of the funky city before it was cool. But as they come up on 50 years in the business, Fitzwilly’s Restaurant can claim a hand in its renaissance.

Fitzwilly's in downtown Northampton
Fitzwilly's in downtown Northampton Photo Credit: Google Maps street view
Pulled Pork Potato Skins at Fitzwilly's in Northampton
Pulled Pork Potato Skins at Fitzwilly's in Northampton Photo Credit: Stephanie M. via Yelp

Opened in 1974, Fitzwilly’s on Main Street near the Truck-Eating Bridge, serves updated-takes on classic American dishes for lunch and dinner.

The restaurant was part of the vanguard in Northampton's 1980s transformation from a depressed suburb to the thriving art, dining, and entertainment destination that it is today. 

During COVID-19, Fitzwilly’s is opening daily for indoor dining at 11:30 a.m. and serving a slimmed-down menu featuring some “old favorites” including:

  • Pan-seared Potstickers, 
  • Buffalo Cheese Curds, 
  • Chicken Tostada Salad, 
  • Maple Bourbon Steak Tips, 
  • Fish and Chips, 
  • Various versions of mac n’ cheese, 
  • Grilled Reuben, 
  • American BJAM Burger (bacon jam, grilled onions, American cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, 1000 Island Dressing), 
  • Toll House Cookie Pie.

Yelp foodie Mark S. of Ellington, Connecticut, gave Fitzwilly’s five stars and commended the restaurant’s knowledgeable staff.

“I'm giving this 5 stars for what it is, comfort food, not 5 stars Michelin FYI. That said, I ordered curbside pickup. The ordering process was great - the bartender made a couple of suggestions. Super helpful since I'm not from the area and had never eaten here. The food was ready quickly and brought right to my car by a cheery waitress. The food was great. Blackened shrimp risotto, Mom's Mac n Cheese, Gorgonzola Garlic Bread. Looks like it would be a cool place to actually dine in.”

Restaurant owners describe Fitzwilly’s as specializing in “comfort, quality food, great service, and moderate prices.” Co-owned by Fred Gohr, the restaurant is registered with the state as Very Limited. The company’s president is Matthew M. Pitoniak and the treasurer is Edmund J. Kamansky, according to Massachusetts’ corporate database.

Fitzwilly's also has an extensive beer selection on tap, in cans and bottles, as well as wine, and unique cocktails.

The weather may be heating up as we head into the spring, but it’s still chill enough to get one of Fitwilly’s “warmers” cocktails like the Fire in the Cocoa (Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, hot cocoa and cream) and the Butterscotch Coffee (Buttershots Schnapps, Irish Cream, coffee, and cream).

Yelp foodie Nicki L. of Old Lyme, Connecticut, said she enjoyed the restaurant’s hip vibe.

“Fitzwilly's really shines. What a great establishment to relatively stumble upon on a brisk evening. The decor is top-notch and there's an altogether hip vibe they have going on, and it's a welcoming experience altogether.”

The decor inside Fitzwilly’s is chill. The lights are low, the walls feature exposed brick, and the bar is made of highly polished wood on top of a tiled, mosaic floor. The ceiling is decorated with pressed tin and the booths have high backs and curtains. There are two bars and two floors for dining.

Yelp foodie Mikey L. of San Francisco said Fitzwilly’s is a nice place to relax with friends - and people watch.

“Great food, great service, and a really cool environment to sit down and eat! I recommend the Buffalo Mac and cheese, and if your eating in, the window table is great for watching the busy little city of Northampton!”

Fitzwilly’s Restaurant, 23 Main St., Northampton is open seven days a week, 11:30 a.m. to late ( check the website for updated hours). Contact the restaurant at (413) 584-8666 or

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