In 1660 on this site, John Pynchon constructed a fort to defend the tiny settlement of Springfield. In October of 1675, the town was burned to the ground by the forces of King Philip’s Pocumtuck Indians. Only Pynchon’s fort withstood the attack.
The Student Prince has been a Springfield landmark since 1935. Back then, it was just the bar and booth area with about 20 beer steins on the wall. The dining room came in 1946, followed by a young gentleman named Rupprecht Scherff who began working at the restaurant in 1949 and took ownership in 1961. Rupprecht was the heart and soul of the restaurant until his death in 1996, during which time the Student Prince and Fort Restaurant became a local institution and the stein collection grew to be one of the largest in the United States. The Scherff family continued to operate the restaurant until 2014.
Over the years, the Student Prince has represented different things to different people. It has been a hub for business and politics, a spot for power lunches, fundraisers and deal making. For many families, it’s a long-standing tradition associated with Thanksgiving, Christmas, graduations and other special occasions. No matter what their history with the restaurant, the Student Prince has always occupied a special place in the hearts of its customers.
In 2014, Rudi Scherff announced that he was closing the legendary restaurant. A group of local business owners, led by Peter Picknelly, stepped up to save it. With the blessing and participation of the Scherff family, they made some upgrades and improvements while still honoring its proud legacy. We hope that by pleasing you the tradition of the Student Prince will continue for generations to come.
The Picknelly, Yee and Vann families