Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Mark Restaurants

Back in March, I received an email from Dennis Waite. He asked, "During your restaurant research, have you come across anything on The Mark restaurants?
I had heard of The Mark, and remembered its distinctive logo, but never ate there. Fortunately, Dennis provided me with a pretty good history of the restaurant chain.
"The restaurant occupied the old McGarvey’s building in the O'Neil Shopping Center in the mid-to-late 70’s,” he noted. "It was a chain owned by Mark Figetakis, who I believe worked for the Brown Derby before venturing out on his own.”

Indeed, Mark Figetakis was vice-president of the Brown Derby chain before launching his own chain of namesake restaurants around 1965. The popular national chain of steak and seafood restaurants was headquartered in Akron, Ohio and eventually expanded to 25 full-service locations.

Apparently, each new Mark restaurant was assigned a number sequentially. The Mark 3 was in Akron; the one at the Sheffield Center was the Mark XI.

Here’s the first Lorain telephone book ad for the restaurant, which ran in the 1973 directory. As it notes, the chain already had outlets in Lorain, Cleveland, Parma, North Olmsted, Mentor, Youngstown, Akron and three in Pennsylvania.
Here’s a Bicentennial-themed ad that ran in the 1974-75 Lorain phone book.

By the time of the October 1983 edition of the phone book, the Mark XI Restaurant had relocated to the former Sveden House on Griswold Road. Its listing disappeared with the November 1987 edition.

There’s a good reason that Dennis has fond memories of The Mark. As he explained, "I worked there through high school, 1972-75." 
Our hometown newspaper should have fond memories of the restaurant chain as well. As Dennis recalled, "They advertised a lot in the Journal.”

Part of a Mark Restaurant menu currently for sale on Ebay
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Thanks to Dennis Waite for his suggestion.

Do you have a special or pleasant memory of eating (or possibly working) at one of the Mark Restaurants that you would like to share? Please be sure to post a comment!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Mark had great food! I don't know what was in it but they had a drink called a "Slippery Deck" but it was strong and why I don't have any other memory. rae

Anonymous said...

When we moved to Lorain originally in late 1975, we lived behind the Sheffield Center. The Mark was the first restaurant we ever went to in Lorain and for several years I was a regular patron even after moving to Vermilion in 76 and then back to Lorain's west side in 78. They had a excellent and large salad bar, decent steaks and a great happy hour in the mid to late 70's. I don't think I ever had a Slippery Deck but I had many a Rusty Nail in their bar. I was sorry to see them go and even sorrier that that location can't continue to support a restaurant. Don Wozniak

JIM said...

My brother's rehearsal dinner was at The Mark by the Sheffield Center. That was the first time I ate in a fancy restaurant. I think they also had one in the terminal at the Burke Lakefront Airport. Great place to eat dinner and watch the Wright Airlines Convairs come and go.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 70s I used to eat at The Mark in Sheffield Center. The used to have all the Prime Rib you could eat, I ate plenty of them, but they kept getting smaller as the night went on.

You see the old Tiffany's Bar on West Erie burned?

$5,000 reward for W. Erie Ave. fire information
1 hour ago
On newsnet5.com Every time I click the story it won't open.
http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/oh-lorain/5000-reward-up-for-information-on-west-erie-avenue-fire

I've had nothing butt rouble with their site an dcleveland.com locks-up the PC

Anonymous said...

I believe The Mark is the restaurant I remember at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport around 1969-71. Can anyone confirm this or correct it? Thanks!

Theremustbecake said...

It was at Burke, I'm sure. But was it a Brown Derby before it was The Mark?