Thursday, January 19, 2012

That Beaver Looks Familiar!

While scrolling around in the late June 1964 Journal newspaper microfilm archives at the library, I found this ad announcing the Grand Opening of The Hut restaurant at 3709 West Erie Avenue in Lorain. The ad is interesting for a couple reasons.

Although there is no way of knowing from the ad, The Hut was located in the building attached to and in front of the Lorain Arena. Originally the building was the standalone Baetz Dairy Bar until the Arena was built behind it and it became all one property. A few years before the Hut moved in, the building housed the Arena Restaurant.

The Hut appeared in the City Directories for 1965 and 1966 before disappearing. The Hut and the Lorain Arena were replaced in the 1967 book by Big Moose Canteen and Big Moose Showcase respectively.

(By the way, the former Lorain Arena is still for sale by Bill Latrany).

What really caught my eye about The Hut's ad, however, was the cute beaver cartoon character. I instantly recognized him as the current advertising mascot for Beaver Park Marina, located just a few miles west of the former restaurant.

The beaver first surfaced in a telephone book ad for Beaver Park Marina in 1978, wearing a captain's hat and clutching a pair of water skis (at left).

Today the now hatless beaver holds an oar instead of skis, and looks out onto U.S. Route 6 traffic from atop a sign on the main Beaver Park building. At least it makes a lot more sense for him to be promoting his namesake marina instead of pancakes!

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