Thursday, November 17, 2011

What used to be where that building is? The Hoop – among others!

Right next door to the former Gulf station on Henderson (you can see it in the background in the photo above) is this building. Until fairly recently it was part of the national Denny's chain, but before that it was different things to different generations of Lorainites, and its location was home to one of Lorain's iconic businesses.

If you go right back to the very beginning, this was the location of the first restaurant in the chain of local restaurants called The Hoop, showing up in the city directory in the mid-1950's.

1955 Hoop telephone book ad showing neon hoop on roof of restaurant
A 1955 newspaper ad included some information about the owner and his view of the business. It stated, "Mr. Richard Head, owner of the Hoop Restaurant, came to Lorain from Cleveland four years ago with a definite purpose in mind – to serve the people of Lorain the BEST in foods at POPULAR prices. Situated in an ideal location and designed in a modern trend, the Hoop will make you more relaxed and comfortable to enjoy your dining. Because of this home cooked food and courteous service, Mr. Head is working on an expansion program which will include several restaurants throughout Northern Ohio."

By the early 1960's however, this particular restaurant had become Manners Big Boy.
It continued as part of the Manners Big Boy chain until about the mid-1970's, when it became Poor Richard's Pub.

It was very briefly the Quarter Horse Restaurant and Saloon in 1981. But by the mid-1980's, and into the 1990's it was the Double R Ranch House. (I remember this restaurant the most.)

By the late 1990's, however, there was no listing for the address at all. It wasn't until about 2004 or so that another national chain – Denny's – decided that 1850 Henderson was a great location.

Photo courtesy of Lorain County Auditor's website
Unfortunately, Denny's closed in January 2011 (which was reported on the Morning Journal site here). The building is currently for sale.

Here's hoping that another business moves in and keeps the kitchen open at that historic restaurant location.


Anonymous said...

Heres a story that is sad but true. In the 60's if you rec'd 2 or more A's you could get a free Big Boy sandwich. Here is the sad part, my Dad sat in the parking lot while I went in alone for my sandwich. We could not afford for all of us to go in. I think the steel mill was layed off or on strike at the time. I am a better person for it.

Dan Brady said...

That's a great story, a real reminder back then that our parents lived on a strict budget, and eating out was a rare treat--so a free Big Boy was a big deal indeed.

I do remember the Manners promotion very well, we would go to the one at the end of Oberlin Avenue to get the free sandwich--carry out. I got a lot of mileage out of my all A report cards--free Big Boys and free Cleveland Press Indian tickets. Those were the days!

-Alan D Hopewell said...

I remember the Hoop and Manners, but I spent the most time at the Double R Ranch House-great food, interesting clientele (especially after midnight!), and friendly wait staff.

Anonymous said...

The location is the same but the buiding itself was torn down after the double r ranch and a new building was built for dennys

Dan Brady said...

Wow! I didn't know that! It's such a strange looking building I thought it had been rehab'd--thanks for pointing that out!

Anonymous said...

well this building is now gone torn down last week