Thursday, June 6, 2013

Johnson's Restaurant on Routes 6 and 2

Here's yet another business that was featured on the 1957 Routes 6 and 2 map: Johnson's Restaurant.

As the small blurb on the 1957 map said, it was right across from the Lorain Drive-in movie theater. The restaurant was also part of the Carl R. Johnson's Trailer Court complex.

It's interesting that there were so many of those trailer courts along the lake there on Route 6. There still is today, in fact, giving the area a unique feeling as you drive west to Vermilion.

Anyway, you can see the restaurant building in the circa 1955 photo below. (Click on it for a larger version.)

Courtesy Black River Historical Society
Johnson's Restaurant is the large building directly across from the Lorain Drive-in screen, fronting on the road. A gas station sits to the left of it.

Once again, it was a difficult business to research as it was outside Lorain city limits and thus not in the earliest city directories.

The 1954 Lorain County Farm and Rural Directory did list a restaurant – Mac's – adjacent to Carl Johnson's Trailer Park, but I'm not sure if it was in the same building or not. If it was, it didn't last long, because an ad for Johnson's Restaurant appeared in the November 1955 Lorain phone book.

Here's the ad (below).
Strangely enough, the Johnson's Restaurant name didn't last very long either despite the proximity of the Johnson Trailer Court.

By the 1957 phone book, the name of the business was now Lakeshore Drive Inn (or Lake Shore Drive Restaurant – I saw it both ways.) It remained by that name in the books from 1957 to 1962.

In the 1963 and 1964 directory, the restaurant had a new name: Ye Olde Hen House Restaurant.

The 1965 and 1966 books revealed yet another name: Renea's Restaurant. And in the 1967 book, the restaurant was listed as Lighthouse.

Finally, in the 1968 directory the restaurant was listed as Chris's Restaurant. It would remain by that name until the late 1970s. (As we all know, Chris's Restaurant moved over to the former Howard Johnson's just to the east on Route 6.)

Angela's Restaurant was the name of the establishment in the 1978 - 1980 books, and Harry's Family Restaurant was there from 1981 - 1992.

The restaurant was listed in the 1993 book as Windrose Restaurant. By 1995 it was the Blue Marlin.

Finally, beginning around 1999 the business became known as Jack and Diane's Lounge, and it remains that today at 5100 West Erie Avenue in Lorain.

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