|Do you remember the restaurant in this building at 4650 Oberlin Avenue back in the early 1970's?|
Although I live in Sheffield Lake, I still spend a lot of time in Lorain, going up and down Oberlin Avenue. Every once in a while, I notice that another restaurant has come and gone in that stretch of road, south of Tower Boulevard. It seems to be a veritable graveyard of national chain restaurants: Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a few others.
Even though the franchised businesses may have closed, the buildings usually remain. Iconic structures like a Pizza Hut or KFC, especially if they closed in the last decade or so, are easy to identify. However, the more obscure ones require the efforts of a modern urban archeologist to determine what used to be in that building.
Fortunately, this blogger has a good memory when it comes to foodstuffs. There's one building along there, at 4650 Oberlin Avenue, with long-forgotten restaurant roots. Today it is the offices of Dr. Paul J. Alton, O.D., but back in the early 1970's it was briefly a Lum's Restaurant.
|Photo courtesy of Don Boyd's website|
As the sign in the photo at left (courtesy of www.donboyd.net) says, their specialty was hot dogs steamed in beer.
I remember my family eating there at least once, and all of us enjoyed their signature dish.
The Lum's on Oberlin Avenue in Lorain first appeared in the City Directory in 1970, wedged between an apartment complex and a private residence. It also appeared in the 1971 book, but by 1972 it was gone.
But that wasn't the end of tasty goings-on at this location.
The 1973 and 1974 City Directories revealed that a restaurant called Italian Gardens took over the space for a few years. (I'm not sure if it was affiliated with the longtime restaurant with the same name in Sandusky.)
From around 1984 on, the kitchen was pretty much closed at 4650 Oberlin Avenue, with City Loan & Savings Company (also known as City Loan Bank and City Loan Financial) occupying the space. Very briefly, Xena's Restaurant returned the building to its original purpose from around 1999 until the early 2000's.
At least one more non-food related business was located there until Dr. Paul J. Alton, O.D. moved in.
You can find Lum's items pretty easily on Ebay, and if you Google the name, you'll find that a lot of people still have fond memories of those hotdogs steamed in beer, as well as their Ollie Burgers.