Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Don't forget to say goodbye to Lorain High School!



The demolition of Lorain High School is planned for later this year. (I went to Admiral King and even I feel bad!)
   Don't forget that on Saturday May 2, 2009 from noon - 4:00 pm, limited areas of Lorain High School will be open for tours. The Black River Historical Society and the Lorain Sports Hall of Fame will have displays and refreshments will be available. There will also be free drawings for building memorabilia held every half hour.
   Click here for a link to the Black River Historical Society website. There is some information about the Lorain High School event, as well as other BRHS activities.
   Click here for an article about the planned demolition of Lorain High School later this year.

Shoreway Shopping Center Part 3



I stopped by last night to see how the demolition of Shoreway Shopping Center was coming along. The demolition workers have begun stripping off the architectural elements that were installed years ago in an attempt to improve the appearance.
  With the "false front" stripped away, it was interesting to see the "ghost" of the A&P sign from long ago (compare photos above.)  
   

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shoreway Shopping Center Part 2


The City of Sheffield Lake has begun dismantling the southern portion of Shoreway Shopping Center (see fenced-in area of photo). The interior portions are being gutted first.
   Check out the photo above, comparing the shopping center in the mid-1960s to a photo I shot a few days ago. It's kind of sad.
   It's hard to believe that shortly after the shopping center opened in October 1958, it had a great selection of stores, including Marshall Drug, Kroger, FW Woolworth, Hough Bakeries, Foodtown Super Market and Sherwin-Williams.
   By 1960, A&P had taken over the Foodtown space. I guess the newfangled pie-baking oven didn't pan out for Foodtown. (See previous post for explanation.) 

Monday, April 27, 2009

At the junction of 61 and 6 & 2...


Here's an ad from the 1969 Lorain Phone book for the Philbo House. It was at the intersection of Route 6 and Route 61 near Huron.
   As a kid, I remember my parents driving by this place for years on the way to somewhere else (probably Cedar Point). This ad, with its old-time type fonts and dot border pattern simulating lights, made me think there was some real whoopin'-it-up going on inside.
   Unfortunately, I never got to eat there when it was the Philbo House. But in February of this year I did get to eat at the current restaurant at that location: the Angry Bull Steak House. The food was terrific and the service was absolutely great. Of course I had to get a steak and I wasn't disappointed.
   To visit the restaurant's website, click here.
   I still don't know why the bull is so angry, though. It must be part of this trend towards cantankerous ad mascots out that way (such as the Angry Trout.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shoreway Shopping Center: stand by for the wrecking bal!



Soon, the City of Sheffield Lake will begin to demolish a portion of the Shoreway Shopping Center. It's a good time to look back at its history.
   According to an article in the Lorain Journal, the $1,250,000 Shoreway Shopping Center originally opened on Thursday, October 2, 1958. Mayor Frank Duguid cut the ribbon as part of opening ceremonies. A fireworks display that evening was under the direction of Fire Chief Peter Cifranic.
   At the time of its opening, the shopping center housed 14 stores including a Foodtown grocery store, the first in the area. The store included a pie-making oven that allowed shoppers to watch the pies being baked.
   The climax of the grand opening festivities was an Ox Roast at the shopping center, sponsored by the Sheffield Lake Kiwanis Club on Oct. 9, 10 and 11.
   Sheffield Lake acquired the shopping center in 2008.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Good tastin' - nourishin' too! That's Hillbilly Bread!


There are several things that I like to buy at Nickles Bakery. They include Texas Toast, New England Split Top Weiner Buns, Donut Fair Donuts (sorry, Bob) and –  Hillbilly Bread!
   (If you click here, you can visit the Nickles Bakery corporate website and see all the goodies they make right here in Ohio.) 
   I'm disappointed that Nickles no longer makes Corn Toasties. Corn Toasties were little round cornbread cakes for your toaster that came stacked in plastic trays. I used to load up my freezer with them like a World War II - era food hoarder.
   At least Nickles still makes Hillbilly Bread. It's just a nice, soft wheat bread, but I love the package design. The hillbilly character is great, and hasn't changed over the years.
   Just like Nickles Bakery. 
  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A "Nickle" for your thoughts about Nickles Bakery


One bit of classic Lorain that is still around is the old Nickles Bakery thrift store at 3215 W. 21st Street. It has been there since the mid-1970s and looks the same as it ever did. Every so often I wander in there on a Saturday morning and suddenly it's 1975 again.
   Usually the store has a pretty good selection of discounted as well as fresh baked goods, and you can buy an awful lot of stuff for a few bucks. You also get a little Savers Club card that is stamped to reflect each dollar spent - and when the card is full, you get a free day-old baked good item!
   In past winters, I would go in there and buy a shopping bag stuffed with "bird bread" - bread that they sold super-cheap strictly as food for our feathered friends. The bread packages were usually ripped or damaged in some way. Sometimes there would be some flattened donuts or crushed creme sticks stuffed way down in the bag with the bread. I would chop it all up and put it out for the birds with the bread.
   After watching the birds chow down on cruellers and creme sticks, I decided it's a good thing they don't have teeth.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Meanwhile, back at the Worm Ranch...


Howdy, Pardner! Did you know that Lorain once had a worm ranch? It was called the Del-Cin Worm Ranch, and it was out on the open prairie of Meister Road!
   I found this ad in the 1959 Lorain Phone Book and was intrigued. Did the company employ worm-boys to wrangle the wiggly critters?
   I especially love the illustration - the worm is grinning away even as he is about to become grub for a chub.
   My research showed that the Del-Cin Worm Ranch must have been in operation for a very short time before becoming worm food itself.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dog 'n Suds: Give a nod if you're hungry!


I've been blogging all week about Dog 'n Suds since our local one opened for the season on Monday, April 13. So for this final day of my Dog 'n Suds Show-and-Tell, here's a Dog 'n Suds bobblehead (or nodder, if you prefer) from my collection. 
   This bow-wow bobblehead was created to commemorate the Dog 'n Suds in Lafayette, Indiana. It's a pretty faithful rendition of Rover in action.
    The Lafayette Dog 'n Suds has a great website with history and photos about their drive-in, information about the brand, links to other Dog 'n Suds websites and an online store as well.
   And don't forget to support our own local Dog 'n Suds. It's classic food and fun - and I'm not woofin'!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Dog 'n Suds: Rover's Makeover


Here's what Rover, the Dog 'n Suds mascot, presently looks like on the bottled root beer sold in grocery stores and online. At least the design is an attempt to mimic the pose still seen on the classic sign.
   I used to be able to find the bottled root beer on the shelves at the Bi-Rite Express in Sheffield Lake. But it disappeared from the shelves a few years ago and I've never seen it anywhere else. So instead I buy it fresh by the half-gallon at Ilene Hampton's Dog 'n Suds on North Ridge Road. There's no label on the plastic jug, but maybe it's just as well.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dog 'n Suds Doggy Bag



Now here's something you don't see every day:  a vintage Dog 'n Suds wrapper. It's fairly big, about 5 3/4" wide by 8" long, and printed on a shiny foil bag. I guess it was designed to hold anything from a coney dog to a charco burger.
   I always liked the Dog 'n Suds dog. (According to the corporate website, his name is Rover.) As a kid, I thought he looked like a less goofy-looking Goofy.
   Although the Rover on classic Dog 'n Suds signs hasn't changed, for some reason the corporate decision makers were constantly tinkering with his appearance in ads. By the 1970s, his appearance had gone to the dogs (at right).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hot Dog! Dog 'n Suds is open!


I drove over to Dog 'n Suds over at 2050 North Ridge Road in Sheffield Township this weekend to see if it was open yet, and to snap a picture for this blog. I'm happy to say that the owner, Ilene Hampton, was there and getting things ready to open today for her 48th year. I'm not sure if she was still planning to sell the business to her longtime short-order cook.
  According to newspaper articles from last year, the Dog 'n Suds drive-in has been there since 1957 and Hampton has owned it since 1961. It is the only Dog 'n Suds left in Ohio.
   Be sure to stop in for some good food and fun, and to support this classic local drive-in. (And don't forget to leave a big tip for the carhops!)
   Corporate ownership of Dog 'n Suds brand root beer has bounced around a bit through the years; here is a link to a licensing website put up by the current owners. It has a little bit of history about the brand. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Easter!


Well, it's Easter time again! And if you're a Lorainite, that means it's time to grab the camera and take the family down to Lakeview Park for the traditional photo by Lorain's famous concrete Easter Basket! (If it's not snowing, that is.)
   My family did it for years back in the 1950s and 1960s. The shots are great because there are so many strangers in the photos. So I guess my family must be in their shots too.
   If you would like to see a fantastic collection of Lorain Easter Basket photos, then head over to Rona Proudfoot's photography website. She not only is a very talented photographer (check out her online portfolio), but also she has created a great collection of old-and-new Lorain Easter Basket photos. You can upload your own family photos by the Easter Basket to her website too. To visit this great site, click here

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bob's Donuts: a few more crumbs


On the day that Bob's Donuts closed for good at the end of December 2002, I made sure I stopped in for some final goodies, and to say goodbye to some of their great counter help. I remember how packed it was that day.
  They were giving away little Bob's Donut & Chicken Drive-In order books as souvenirs - and I've still got mine! (See above.)
   For a while in the 1990s, every Friday I used to bring a dozen of Bob's Donuts to where I work in Cleveland. None of my co-workers had ever heard of Bob's, and they were intrigued that the store made donuts and chicken. One of my co-workers would always come in, see the white box of donuts and ask: "Are those Bob's chicken donuts?"

Monday, April 6, 2009

Missing Bob's Donuts



After reading in the Morning Journal about the sale of the building that used to be the home of Bob's Donuts, I couldn't believe it has been more than 6 years since it closed. I still miss their great glazed fried cakes and bread. And their creme sticks. And their cruellers.
   Judging by the comments left on the Morning Journal's website, I'm not the only one that misses Bob's Donuts terribly. Wouldn't it be great if someone bought Bob's recipes and opened a new bakery?
  Until that happens, Lenny Camera made me aware of another great Lorain bakery that is still in business, Bill's Bakery at 2925 Grove Avenue. Their donuts, cookies and bread are excellent.

Friday, April 3, 2009

And before the Sherwood Inn...


I'm not old enough to remember that even before Mutt & Jeff's was the Sherwood Inn, it was the Airport Tavern
   The Airport Tavern first showed up in the City Directory in 1942. It must have been the only thing along that stretch of Oberlin Avenue back then. According to the 1945 City Directory, there were no other street addresses listed between the Airport Tavern and 29th street. 
   Also, according to the 1942 City Directory, the airport at that time was called the Lorain Airport and it was located at the northeast corner of Meister Road and Leavitt Road.
    The Airport Tavern became the Sherwood Inn around 1962. Here's a 1942 ad from the City Directory (above). 

Before Mutt & Jeff's...

Last weekend my wife and I enjoyed some terrific burgers and great service at Mutt & Jeff's at 3700 Oberlin Avenue in Lorain. It got me thinking back to when it was still the Sherwood Inn. (I believe it became Mutt & Jeff's in 1984.)
As a kid, I always liked the Sherwood Inn sign and ads with the Robin Hood character. It made me think that inside were all these huge oak barrels of ale, and that it would seem perfectly natural for Friar Tuck to be sitting at the bar.
Here's an ad for the Sherwood Inn from 1973 (at right).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Welcome to my Blog!

Although I currently live in Sheffield Lake, I was born and raised in Lorain and lived in the area all my life - and I can't imagine living anywhere else.
   As Lorain, Sheffield Lake and other Lorain County cities continue to evolve and embrace exciting futures, I think it is fun to look back and see where we came from. That is the focus of this blog: to present a fond view of our shared past that is reflected through various images, including vintage advertisements, postcards and anything else that is just plain fun to look at!
   Thanks for stopping by. I hope to jog your memories a bit and perhaps bring you a smile or chuckle.

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