Monday, May 22, 2017

Sutter’s

I was happy to find the above Grand Opening ad for Sutter’s Nut Shop, which ran in the Lorain Journal on May 21, 1937. I had only mentioned Sutter’s once previously on this blog, so it was about time that I put the spotlight on this longtime, well-remembered Lorain business.

Actually, there were two businesses run by John H. Sutter – with one on each side of Broadway. Sutter’s Nut Shop was located at 636 Broadway next to the Tivoli Theatre. Sutter’s Sandwich Shop was at 525 Broadway.

Sutter’s Nut Shop seems to be the earlier of the two businesses, first appearing in the city directory and phone book in 1937. The sandwich store was in the next available directory, the 1940 edition.

For a time, there were more Sutter’s outlets listed in the city directory in addition to the two main stores in Downtown Lorain. In the early 1940s, there was one at 1924 Broadway and another at 2832 Broadway. There were even two stores on Pearl. But by the late 1940s, the two main stores located downtown were all that were listed in the directory,
July 1, 1947 ad from the Lorain Journal
Sutter’s Nut Shop was often listed as a confectionery, which is basically a sweet shop where one could purchase candy.

It was a very popular store. “You couldn’t beat Sutter’s. That’s where the kids would meet,” explained my mother recently. “That’s who Sutter’s catered to: the kids.”

Late 1950s phone book listing
By the time of the 1957 city directory, John Sutter had apparently decided to focus on the Sandwich Shop. About that time, Sutter’s Nut Shop became Firestone’s Sandwich Shop.

John Sutter retired around 1961, turning the restaurant business over to his son, John T. Sutter, who ran it for almost another twenty years.

The business moved to 710 Broadway near the end of its long run. John T. Sutter and his wife Janet also ran Sugar ’N Spice at 714 Broadway.

Sadly, Sutter’s Sandwich Shop disappeared in the 1980 city directory. Many longtime Downtown Lorain businesses closed around that time.

Hopefully, another family business can emulate Sutter’s success and make a long-term commitment to Downtown Lorain.

As my mother noted, “They sure could use a Sutter’s there now."

5 comments:

Jim TheMoreStuffGuy said...

After a few moment conversation with the history buff, John H. Retired in 1961 and that's when John T took over, as far as the Firestone, the business was sold, but the property was still owned for years beyond that.

In the day the sold enough popcorn to cover the mortgage on the property, I just thought that was a awesome tidbit!

Jim TheMoreStuffGuy said...

Thank you Dan!

I appreciate seeing my family's history in this beautiful town.

Lorain Proud
Jim "Themorestuffguy" Sutter

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan,
I remember eating at Sutter's Sandwich Shop when I was a young boy with my mom when we would shop downtown. That would have been 1966/67. It was long and somewhat narrow with the counter left and booths on the right with juke boxes. This would have been the store on the east side of Broadway. Was the store renamed Sutter's again after the Firestone (or am I crazy)?

Chuck
Jackson, MI

Dan Brady said...

Hi Chuck,
Your memories are fine. Somehow I managed to get it wrong. Sutter’s Nut Shop at 636 Broadway became Firestone’s Sandwich Shop, run by Francis and Richard E. Firestone. Sutter’s Sandwich Shop at 525 Broadway kept right on going – just as you remembered from your 1960s visits. Thanks for the correction!

Anonymous said...

Dan,

Thanks for checking it out. I remember those jukes singing "The Birds and the Bees" at our booth. I wish we knew the importance of that era at the time, and had better recorded the visuals. I really look forward to reading your blog. Thank you for documenting all the of our Lorain history.

Chuck
Jackson MI