|Vintage postcard postmarked 1941|
Lewis Cicco, a former Lorain city policeman, owned and operated the tavern for about 17 years. (I’ll have more on his police career in a later post.)
Before it became Cicco’s Tavern, the facility had been part of a large resort property known in the early 1930s as Shore Inn and later as Roback’s Shore Inn. Shore Inn had offered a variety of amenities, including dinner, dancing, a hotel, cottages and beach facilities.
The Sandusky Register of August 9, 1940 included a small news item from the early days of Cicco’s Tavern.
It read, "Cicco's Tavern, formerly Shore Inn, located on the Cleveland-rd. Route 2, two and one-half miles west of Vermilion, has been completely remodeled and redecorated and is proving to be a very popular place this summer. There is dancing every evening music being supplied by Heath Snyder's orchestra. Louis [sic] Cicco, well-known restaurant man, is proprietor of the Tavern and he is specializing in Italian spaghetti, steaks, chicken dinners and seafoods. There are private dining rooms which are available for parties and other gatherings. Cicco's Tavern is open until 2:30 a. m.
The restaurant's popularity resulted in Lewis Cicco deciding to commercially produce his spaghetti sauce. Here's an article (below) from the Sandusky Register of November 7, 1946.
Cicco Plans To Start Factory Next Spring
VERMILION, Nov. 7—As soon as materials are available in the spring, construction is expected to be started on a factory here to house Cicco's Finer Foods. The firm has just been incorporated for $25,000 with Lewis Cicco, Abe Kaplan and Kathryne Owens listed as incorporators. Cicco, manager of a tavern west of here on Lake-rd for a number of years, said the firm is to manufacture spaghetti, Italian sauces and salad dressings.
****The spaghetti sauce was produced and distributed to grocery stores, according to this ad, (below), which appeared in the Lorain Journal on April 5, 1947.
Carolyn Stringer, whose grandparents were Louis and Edith Cicco, told me via email last year, "Our sauce was on the market for years in Sparkle Market in Vermilion.” It was also available at Mark’s Market on Perkins Avenue in Sandusky as late as March 1957.
Here are some more vintage postcards (below).
Tomorrow, I'll write about how Cicco's Tavern changed hands in the late 1950s in a very high profile transaction.