Friday, February 25, 2011

Midway Oh Boy Part 5

As the 1970's drew to a close, Midway Oh Boy entered a period in which it changed hands a few times.

According to the Elyria City Directory, Larry Burgess took over after the Wrackers around 1980, followed by James Ryan in the mid-1980's. Finally, around 1991, David and Carole Disbrow became the latest owners of the beloved restaurant.

A 1992 Midway Oh Boy ad from the Elyria phone book 
The Disbrows enhanced the Midway Oh Boy brand by standardizing the logo with appealing type to go along with the classic burger boy mascot (see ad above). From there, they gave the restaurant's fans what they apparently wanted all along: Oh Boy merchandise! A wide variety of Oh Boy branded promotional products appeared, including T-shirts, caps, mugs, and even a Cat's Meow® wooden keepsake. New merchandise appears periodically; currently, a nifty travel mug and a water bottle are available.

Enjoying an Oh Boy at the 2010 LCF
By my math, the Disbrows have now owned Midway Oh Boy longer than any of the other previous owners. They have also taken Oh Boy on the road, with their food trailer appearing at local festivals, as well as continuing the restaurant's satellite operation at the Lorain County Fair.

My wife and I always hit the Midway Oh Boy booth at the fair as soon as we arrive at the Fair (see photo at left). It's a tradition that I don't intend to end anytime soon. The booth is easy to find – it's right under the Grandstand.

Happily, the restaurant continues to thrive at its Lake Avenue location and looks like it will be around for a long time – which is a relief to me, as it has become much more than just a mere burger joint to me. I've celebrated several major birthdays there, and the restaurant has been the scene of many family gatherings over the years. My father would always rave about his burger after one of our Oh Boy dinner get-togethers, and I think of him every time we eat there.

I hope you enjoyed this look at one of my favorite places.


****
For more Oh Boy fun, check out local journalist and photographer Rona Proudfoot's first-ever encounter with an Oh Boy at the 2009 Lorain County Fair, which you can find here.

And visit this great blog with a mother's well-written account of her visit to Midway Oh Boy with her sons while passing through Lorain County on a trip.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the History Review of Midway OH Boy and all of your positive comments about our restaurant. Please visit our website at www.midwayohboy.com for monthly discounts.

Thanks Again
The Disbrow's

Holly Miller said...

Love your blog! I love Lorain history. My great great grandfather and my great grandfather built many of the homes and schools in Lorain in the early 1900's.

I've worked at Oh Boys since 1993 and my mom has worked there even longer! I love the place!!! Oh...and I'm the waitress (Holly) in that lady's blog you posted about! Good stuff!

Tom Maggard said...

I worked at Oh-Boys (my first job) in 1979 to 1981, Larry Burgess was the owner then. Does any one know where he is now?
It was a fun place to work as a kid, lot of good memories

Thanks
Tom Maggard