Friday, September 26, 2014

Heilman's Ranch House Opens – Sept. 1961

July 1967 newspaper ad from the Journal
Remember Heilman's Ranch House on Broadway?

I still think it was a neat idea to have a Western-themed restaurant in Downtown Lorain that was open 24 hours a day. (The Western motif was popular back then, as the Saddle Inn in Avon Lake had the same idea.) I hope that they both served Wild West Sarsaparilla.

Well, Heilman's Ranch House opened up for business on September 21, 1961 – 53 years ago this month. Here's the small article that tells the story. It appeared in the Journal on September 16, 1961.

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West Style Restaurant Opens Here

A new western style restaurant, Heilman's Ranch House, will officially open Thursday at 211 W. Erie.

To say that the decor of the new 24-hour restaurant, built at the site of the former Park Restaurant, is inspired by the Wild West would be an understatement. The pine walls of the 60 seat dining room are covered with cattle hides, longhorn skulls and lariats.

A hamburger goes by the handle of a "ranchburger."

According to Hubert Heilman, the Ranch House was designed to replace the grill in Heilman's Marine Room, which will be turned into an enlarged bar.

Heilman describes the Ranch House as "informal, masculine, friendly, American." By using modern cooking methods, the Ranch House will be able to offer a wide variety of fine, moderately-priced meals at any hour.

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The photo and caption below appeared on the front page of the Journal on September 23, 1961. You can't say that the Journal wasn't supportive of new businesses back then .

NO HAMBURGERS – Hamburgers go by the name of ranchburgers 
at Heilman's Ranch House, newest addition to the city's restaurant 
industry. Opened Thursday, the Ranch House carries a "wild west" 
theme throughout its decor, complete with cattle hides, longhorn 
skulls and lariats. Located on the site of the old Park Restaurant, 
the Ranch House was built to replace the grill in Heilman's Marine 
Room. It is open 24 hours a day.
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Heilman's Ranch House lasted 13 years before becoming a victim of urban renewal. You can read a great article about its March 1974 closing below (which I originally posted back in April 2010). Give it a click.


1 comment:

Rick Kurish said...

I remember Heilman's Ranch House well. From 1969 until 1972 I lived in an apartment near Beaver Park on the west side of Lorain, and was working at Lorain Products on the east side of the city. I therefore passed the Restaurant twice a day.

Being a bachelor at the time, and a less than avid cook, both the Ranch House and The Hoop at route 58 and west Erie Ave. were frequent stops on my way to and from work. As the article states, the decor was somewhat "over the top" western, but the food was quite good, and the place often contained and "interesting" mix of local Lorain personalities.

By the time of its announced closing, I was married and living in Amherst, but on one of its last days, I stopped for a meal. As I was leaving, I asked for a souvenir, and they gave me a menu. I have no idea what became of the menu, but I suspect my wife "deep - sixed" it.