Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What used to be in that building?

The view on Sunday morning
I get lots of suggestions for blog posts from people, but no one sends me more great ideas than Jeremy Reynolds. His job requires him to be on the road, and as a result, he notices plenty of things of nostalgic interest around Lorain County – and is more than happy to email me about them.

One of his most recent suggestions involved his curiosity as to what business preceded popular Ardick Seafood at its location at 922 Colorado Avenue. The unique architecture of the building with its slanted roof suggested to Jeremy that it might have been a drive-in at some point, and I agreed.

You can purchase an art print of this great Robo-Wash
vintage photo by Brandon Addis on his Etsy store at
I was surprised, then, to find out that the 922 Colorado Avenue address first appeared in the 1967 Lorain City Directory as the address for Robo-Wash. According to this interesting article on www.carwash.com, Robo-Wash was one of the first in-bay touch-free automatic car washes.

The Robo-Wash on Colorado Avenue was one of two Lorain locations. The other one was located in the Oakwood Shopping Center.

As usual, the great Agility Nut roadside architecture website is the place to go to see great vintage buildings. It has a whole collection of photos of former Robo-Wash buildings (here). A few even include the car wash's original sign featuring a cute robot advertising mascot.

The Robo-Wash at 922 Colorado Avenue disappeared from the City Directory with its 1975 edition, when the address was listed as "vacant." In the 1977 edition, another car wash – Flash Car Wash – briefly appeared. Then the address went vacant again until Ardick Seafood's listing began with the 1985 edition.

By the way, Ardick Seafood has several great reviews here on yelp.com. People rave about the yellow perch sandwiches and dinners, as well as the lobster bisque. There's even a little picnic table set up outside under an awning so you can eat there. A young family was happily doing just that when I drove by last Saturday afternoon.

Thanks once again to Jeremy for his great blog post suggestion.


Dorene from Ohio said...

I know this Robo-Wash was in Lorain, but there was also one on the west side of Sandusky on Venice Road. Great memories! (I pinned it on my Pinterest "Back in the Day" board.)

Unknown said...

Wow I would never have guessed that it was formerly a car wash. The owners of Ardick's must have done some remodeling when they first took over the building in 1984/1985 as it doesn't look anything like the other Robo-washes on that website. Great job with the research as always!

-Alan D Hopewell said...

believe it or not, that was a treat for us boys, when Ma would drive the '60 Country Sedan into the Robo-Wash, and we'd trip off the machine going around the car.

matt said...

They had one in Elyria at Cleveland Street and Abbe Road. I used it for many years. They always had an attendant that had a big brush that hit the tough spots before you went in. It was quite reasonable and was always busy.

Rick Kurish said...

f18aIn 1969 I worked at Lorain Products Corp. just around the corner on F Street, and would occasionally run my 1969 Mustang "fastback" through the wash. Can't say that I'm nostalgic about the Robo-Wash car wash, but I sure wish I still had that Mustang!