A nice history of Sveden House was published in the Waterloo Courier of November 4, 1974. It read, "The Sveden House Smorgasbord began as a single unit in Duluth. Minnesota, in a restaurant operation known then as the "Plaza Dining Room." It was a full service restaurant that also had a short buffet line incorporated into its operation. In spite of good management, however, the operation was going bankrupt in the very difficult winter months in Duluth. The owner operators of the unit, in desperation, after an all night "Prayer" meeting, decided the next day to change the operation into a strictly "One low price, all you care to eat "Smorgasbord" style unit. It was their desire to serve the whole "family unit" delicious food at a lower reasonable price and thereby generate enough volume to also make the unit profitable.
It's interesting that you can find vintage photos and postcards of restaurants in the chain with both the name spelled both Sveden and Sweden House.
Here's a fairly common postcard that was used to advertise the national chain (below).
Sveden House opened near Midway Mall in Elyria in the fall of 1972. It was still running ads in the classified section of the newspaper for head cooks and waitresses in late October (below).
|October 22, 1972 ad from the Chronicle-Telegram|
It did open in time for Thanksgiving 1972. The below ad ran in the Chronicle-Telegram on November 16.
Its first appearance in the Lorain phone book was consequently the 1973-74 edition (below).