Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lorain Diner Part 1

Sometimes, an item that I was going to post as filler ends up leading me on the proverbial wild goose chase.

On the same page of the March 16, 1953 Lorain Journal that included the Hollywood Lounge ad (which I posted yesterday), there was an ad for Lorain Diner (above).

Lorain Diner? I'd never heard of it.

But the ad said it was at "Stop 109 West Lake Road – near the underpass." According to this list of Lake Shore Electric Railway stops (on the Lake Shore Rail Maps website), Stop 109 was the Lorain Country Club, which was located just east of the railroad undercut on the north side of U.S. Route 6.

Intrigued that a classic diner might have been located out there at one time, I did a little digging in the city directories. Unfortunately, that area was part of Black River Township until it was later annexed to Lorain in the 1960s – so the diner wasn't listed in the 1950s books. The diner wasn't to be found in any of the mid-1960s books either.

However, it was in the 1954 Lorain County Farm & Rural Directory. The listing for U.S. 6 started at the Vermilion border and worked its way eastward, numbering the properties as they appeared and designating whether they were on the north or south side of the highway. (Most of the properties didn't have numerical addresses yet.)

Here's the listing for Lorain Diner (below).

So now I knew it was on the south side of the street, just east of the Pueblo Tavern (which I've been promising to blog about for almost 5 years) and a few residences. The diner was also roughly opposite the Vanishing Beach Motel.

The name associated with Lorain Diner – Richard Head – made sense, since he owned and operated the various outlets of The Hoop restaurants.

But what became of Lorain Diner? It sure wasn't there now. Was it trucked away at some point?

It was time to head back to the library.


-Alan D Hopewell said...

I can't resist....was "Richard Head" that guy's real name?

Dan Brady said...

Yessir, Alan! He ran the Hoop restaurants and later joined the Manners management team.

Mike Kozlowski said...


Is the current Fox Creek Golf and Racquet Club what used to be the Lorain Country Club? If so, the old Brown Derby restaurant there was decorated with signs and memorabilia from the old Lake Shore Railway days...


Dan Brady said...

I believe you're correct, Mike!

Drew Penfield said...

Fox Creek isn't the former Lorain Country Club, at least not the original one. Fox Creek is over by Oak Point while the original Lorain Country Club was over by the US6/611 interchange, a couple miles away. The clubhouse was north of the railroad tracks and West Erie, while the golf course was on the south side of the tracks. The golf course was abandoned by 1942 and is now a housing subdivision. The clubhouse burned down in the 50's.

I believe Fox Creek was formerly known as the Lorain Country Club, but that was well after the original Lorain Country Club (which dates to at least the early 1920's) was gone. That can create some confusion.

The Brown Derby restaurant did have photos and memorabilia of the LSE, but that didn't necessarily have anything to do with the history of the building or golf course, just the owners interest in the LSE.

Dan Brady said...

Thanks for clearing that up, Drew. I never understood the relationship (if any) of the newer Lorain Country Club by the hospital that Mike is referring to and the "original" one on West Erie.

For as many times as I ate at the Brown Derby, I must have been too interested in my steak to notice any LSE memorabilia!

Anonymous said...

"Vanishing Beach Motel" is a great name. What is there now?

Dan Brady said...

I'm not sure, but I suspect that 4144 Shore Drive might be the old Vanishing Beach Motel property. It's across from the former diner location, the house was built in 1930 and there are still two cottages on the property dating from the 30s and 40s.

Drew Penfield said...

It vanished, obviously hehehehe

Bill Marquet said...

Lorain Country Club burnt down in the '40,s..