Friday, September 30, 2011

Perkins Pancake House

1966 Phone book ad
I don't go to very many chain restaurants, but there is one that I enjoy visiting every so often: Perkins. Nostalgia has a little to do with it, but I also really enjoy the food.

Like many other Lorainites, I grew up going to the Perkins Pancake House on North Ridge Road near Route 57. That particular location opened in the mid-1960's.

For my family, Perkins was a special occasion type of place. We usually went there when it was one of our birthdays – because if I remember correctly, the restaurant used to have a policy that your birthday dinner was free. They even sent reminders in the mail.

I ate a lot of pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream there as a kid in the 1960's. (Now as an adult, I rarely order it – and when I do, halfway through I regret it! But I'll order it again, no doubt.)

As the years went by, my family went there less and less, and I more or less forgot about the place. The parent company tinkered with the brand a bit in the 1980's, even changing the name to Perkins Cake & Steak to entice the carnivore crowd. But the name change didn't help, and the N. Ridge Road restaurant closed around 1985. (It's George's Family Restaurant now.)

Later, I got reacquainted with Perkins by stopping at the one on US 250 near Ashland on the way home from Columbus. I've been to the one in Sandusky (which is very good) as well as the one in Avon – but the Ashland one is still the best. It's got the best service, best food and best servers. They've had the same hustling manager for years, and it shows. (Plus, I like the local clientele there – interesting country folk who pack the place on a Sunday afternoon and ask to sit in their favorite server's section.)

Anyway, I found this vintage postcard on the website. If my memory serves me right, the one on N. Ridge looked something like this.

We stopped at the Perkins down in Ashland over the weekend, and enjoyed a fine meal as usual. It's the perfect Sunday autumn drive – about an hour one-way. Plus, you get to stop at Fin, Feather and Fur outfitters next door to the east, and Grandpa's Cheese Barn just behind the restaurant.


Anonymous said...


Oddly enough, I never got to Perkins, although my friends and I drank gallons of coffee at L&K back in the 70's.

ge13031 said...

I never got much further east then the "Gin Mill", Pat and Andy Hanko. Shoot out from the plant, hamburger (real one)with a slice of fresh onion, crispy french fries, home made pickled peppers and a draft beer for a buck! the original valu-meal

Dan Brady said...

Hi Dennis,

That sounds like a pretty good combo meal--the pickled peppers are a nice touch.

My parents' neighbors were big fans of Hanko's Gin Mill, that was about the only place they ever went to (much like I am with Mutt & Jeff's or MIdway Oh Boy).

TenPoundHammer said...

Where was the other Perkins on this ad located?

Dan Brady said...

The one on the ad is George's now. The ad has 2 phone numbers listed, as well as what looks like several addresses, but it's all for the same location.