Monday, November 21, 2011

The Hoop/Manners Story Part 2

1966 Phone Book ad
Manners had an immediate presence in Lorain County with the purchase and conversion of three Hoop Drive-ins, and the construction of a brand new outlet at 2173 N. Ridge Road near the intersection of State Route 254 and State Route 57. (Meanwhile, the lone Hoop Drive-in also continued on for a bit at 2017 N. Ridge Road, which is where Clinton Avenue meets N. Ridge Road.)

Manners really believed in promotion, and the company ran large ads in the Lorain telephone book (like the one shown above) touting their signature Big Boy double decker burger. The company also ran big regular ads in the Lorain Journal.

November 18, 1968 newspaper ad
It was hard not to be aware of Manners if you were a kid growing up in Lorain, with two restaurants on the west side. I've mentioned before how Manners used to give away free Big Boys for good report cards.

Since the Big Boy name was franchised, different restaurant chains bought the right to use it in certain territories. While Manners had the rights for a while in Northern Ohio, they must have lost them or decided to drop them at some point because by 1970, the ads no longer featured the Big Boy name or its iconic slingshot-carrying mascot.

1970 phone book ad; note the generic double decker burger
The Manners restaurants began to disappear in the early 1970's. The lone exception was the one at 2173 North Ridge Road. It was the only Manners left in town by 1975. (The Henderson Drive location, discussed in a separate post last week, had become Poor Richard's Pub.)

Strangely enough, the Hoop Drive-in made at curtain call at 2405 W. Lake Road for a few years starting in 1975. But by 1980, it was Tudy's Coffee Shop, followed by Bonnie's Place (in 1982). Sadly, by 1985 it was storage for Jeancola's Market. It would later spring back to life as Antigoni's, and later, the Fish Shanty and others. The restaurant sign has said Pete's Family Restaurant for quite a while, but I think the current business occupying the building is called the Beachcliff Diner.

Former Manners at intersection of Leavitt Road and US Route 6 in Lorain
The Manners at 2173 N. Ridge Road near Route 57 (which opened on July 12, 1967) was still in the phone book in 1977. Then, in 1978 it returned to its roots as it was very briefly Bob's Big Boy. By 1980, it was also a Tudy's and by 1983 it was listed as vacant. It was also Twigs Family Restaurant around 1986 before becoming Imperial Gardens Chinese Restaurant in the late 1980's. Today, the North Ridge Park office park is at the location and there is no evidence that there ever was a restaurant there.

Former Manners Big Boy location on North Ridge Road near State Route 57
The Manners building at the southern end of Oberlin Avenue is gone as well. The property has been used for years to display a variety of small sheds and other buildings for sale by Storage Buildings Unlimited.

Looking east across Oberlin Ave. at former Manners location

To read a nice story about the Manners restaurants by noted Plain Dealer reporter Tom Feran, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tudy's was fantastic!