Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Tale of Three Chris' Restaurants

The Morning Journal had a nice article back in mid-October about the 50th anniversary of Chris' Restaurant. (Click here in case you missed it.) The article mentioned that Chris Manofski started his popular restaurant back in 1964 on Pearl Avenue, and moved it to its current location at 2812 W. Erie Avenue (in the old Howard Johnson's restaurant) in 1981.

The article left out some of the details of the restaurant's history.
Mr. Manofski did indeed start his restaurant on Pearl Avenue, although his business had a different name back then. The 1965 Lorain City Directory included a listing of his Pearl Restaurant at 2843 Pearl Avenue (roughly where the vacant lot is next to the Koury Building, across from Lorain National). But the listing was only in the book for one year before the restaurant changed hands.

Then in the 1968 book, a listing appeared for Chris Restaurant at 5100 West Erie – the former home of Johnson's Restaurant, and most recently Jack & Diane's) right across from the Lorain Drive-in. The listing remained in the city directory well into the late 1970s.

What makes it confusing is that there were actually three restaurants in the Lorain area with Chris as part of their names during the 1960s and 70s.

In the 1970 directory, there was Chris Restaurant at 5100 West Erie. In that same book, there was Chris' Restaurant – run by Frank and Christine Bishop – at 5316 Colorado Avenue, and Chris Cafe at 3680 Pearl, run by a gentlemen listed as Christ Evanoff.

It's a good thing Lorain didn't have a Ruth's Chris Steak House back then. It's enough to make a researcher's head spin.

I'm not sure how long Mr. Manofski was involved with the restaurant out on Pearl. Hopefully, someone knowledgeable about Chris' Restaurant will clear this all up for me with a blog comment.

Nevertheless, Chris' Restaurant remains one of my mother's favorites. We stop in on Saturday every couple of months to enjoy a delicious perch sandwich, along with some friendly service.

The funny thing is, when Mom is in the mood to go there, she mentions, "How about lunch at Chris Cafe?"


Rick Kurish said...

Chris Manofski was indeed the one time owner of the current Jack and Diane's Restaurant at 5100 West Erie Avenue. I would occasionally have breakfast there when I lived on Beavercrest Drive in 1969. At that time the restaurant was an older smaller building. When it became Harry's Family Restaurant a few years later it underwent a massive renovation, including adding a party room.

By the way, Chris Manofski also had a hand in another area restaurant. After the Perkins Restaurant on the corner of routes 57 and 254 in Sheffield closed Chris and, I believe a relative, reopened the restaurant. The dual operation lasted a short time and Chris pulled out leaving a single owner. I believe the restaurant is still run by the same owner, and is now George's Family Restaurant.

Unknown said...

Chris an George were partners then they split it is Georges now. Also Chris bought the old McDonald's on 254 after a short time he sold it to Rosie's it was called Chris's II

Unknown said...

Live the food especially perch and porkchops !