Monday, January 26, 2015

Kathe Kreuzer's Country Place

Ad from the June 21, 1955 Lorain Journal and the Lorain Times-Herald
I had seen this ad for Kathe Kreuzer's Country Place at the Lorain Public Library (in one of the vintage newspapers on display upstairs) for several years now, each time wondering if the place was still around and what it was known as today. So I thought it would be a good time to finally find out, since I seem to be focusing on restaurants lately.

The above ad – which ran in the Lorain Journal on June 21, 1955 – tells the history of the place up to that point. As the headline noted, the restaurant had been a Lorain County landmark for 36 years, which dates it back to 1919. The ad copy reads, "KATHE KREUZER'S COUNTRY PLACE – all that a famous name implies. Here you will find a menu and a hospitality that has delighted many a gourmet for the past thirty - six years. Mr. Carl Wriedt the owner of Kathe Kreuzer's appreciates the discriminating tastes of these many people and consequently has striven to preserve those features that have made Kathe Kreuzer famous in Ohio... namely FINE FOOD and WONDERFUL HOSPITALITY. THE COUNTRY PLACE is truly picturesque and the setting reminds you of some elegant inn situated on the outskirts of some Bavarian town. Once inside you're impressed with the quaint decor of this inn and you are pleasantly charmed by the furnishings. You look around and see many family groups and couples enjoying their dinners. The superb cuisine, the unexcelled hospitality and the fine setting all blend into a wonderful atmosphere that makes KATHE KREUZER'S COUNTRY PLACE a fascinating and interesting place to dine. We can seat a capacity crowd of 350 so call Avon 48-292 for a reservation today.

Who was Kathe Kreuzer? I'm not sure – I'm assuming it was the person who started the business. Perhaps someone with knowledge of Avon history will add a comment some day to this post. But with a distinctive name like that, it's not surprising that the name was kept.

Here's a few ads from the 1950s.
November 1955 Lorain phone book ad
May 11, 1956 Chronicle-Telegram ad
In 1963, Kathe Kreuzer's was purchased by John W. Miller, who had previously been associated with Miller's Dining Room in Lakewood. Here's a photo of the restaurant at the time of the purchase. (The photo appears courtesy of ClevelandMemory.org.)
The place became known as Miller's Country Place. Here's an ad from 1964 (below).
October 24, 1964 Chronicle-Telegram ad
It's easy to find many online references to Miller's Country Place through the decades, as it was a popular place for luncheons and parties. (I remember the name and know that I played there too, as a member of either a big band or a polka band.)
Businesses located there after Miller's Country Place include Fox & Crow Restaurant and until recently, Winking Lizard
Courtesy Lorain County Auditor website
But with the Winking Lizard's recent move to a brand new Avon location, the building is slated to soon become the home of Farmhouse Tavern.
I drove by the building on the way home from work the other night to capture this snowy, sunset shot (below).
It's great to see the old place still in use after almost a hundred years, still providing enjoyment to guests in what is still a beautiful country setting.

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UPDATE (January 27, 2015)
It appears that the business was more commonly known as Katie Kreuzer's Country Place, according to earlier ads and city directory listings that I have discovered since my original post.

A 1948 Lorain County directory has it listed by that name with Ludwig Kreuzer as the owner. Also, the Westlake High School Panorama Yearbook - Class of 1949 includes an ad for Katie Kreuzer's Country Place that states that it was established in 1919. Ludwig Kreuzer is again listed as the owner, and Adam Hampel is identified as the manager.

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UPDATE (February 4, 2015)
Since my last update, I've found this small article (below) that appeared in the June 21, 1955 Lorain Journal. It provides a nice capsule history and timeline of the business.

As it notes, "The popular restaurant was founded in 1919 by the late Kathe Kreuzer who catered family dinners to perfection and satisfaction."

Kathe Kreuzer (1875-1943) and her husband Ludwig (1886-1954) are both buried in Elmhurst Park Cemetery in Avon, Ohio.

3 comments:

Matt Weisman said...

Dan, too young to remember Kathe Kruzer’s, but sure remember Miller’s and the famous Sticky Buns! Miller’s was one of the few places I knew that could be both upscale and down home and both groups totally satisfied. I don’t remember the $2.50 dinners either!

Miss Merry said...

Gosh, I wish I could go back in time some afternoon and try those 1940's and 1950's dinners! I will try to drive by someday when the snow melts!

Columba Welch said...

Was this ever called or known by the name The Dinner Table?