Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Urban Miller's Supper Club Part 2

Urban and Genevieve Miller were the owners and operators of the Supper Club. It was located at the corner of Lake Avenue and Elyria Avenue.

In addition to the Supper Club, the Millers also ran a produce stand called Miller's Produce on the property. (It was also referred to as Miller's Celery in some city directory listings.)

According to a real estate listing in the Sandusky Register of February 4, 1936, the Millers purchased land from Reva A. Hulse. The land is described as being "property on plank tp" – which makes sense, because Elyria Avenue was originally the old plank road that started in Lorain and winded its way to Elyria and points south.

The Supper Club's location halfway between Lorain and Elyria is certainly compatible with the 'supper club' definition discussed here yesterday, with supper clubs usually being located at the edge of town in a rural area.

Urban Miller's Supper Club began life as the Venture Inn Supper Club. Here's an ad announcing the fact that Miller was taking over management of the place. It ran in the Chronicle-Telegram on November 6, 1942.

The "Venture Inn" name continued to be used into 1944. I'm not sure why it was dropped; perhaps it was to avoid confusion with another Venture Inn that was located in Oberlin on Route 10 about that time.

The Supper Club sponsored bowling teams during the early to mid-1940s. In fact, the Chronicle-Telegram once made a reference to the bowling prowess of Mrs. Miller in an amusing news item. Under a heading that read BETTER THAN HE IS NOW, the Chronicle-Telegram of January 3, 1944 stated, "You can believe it or not but Urban Miller, who divides his time between running the Supper Club and driving a vegetable produce truck is jealous of his wife, Jennie. That's on the up-and-up, but the truth is, Urban's only jealous of his better half in a bowling way and that's because his wife is becoming more proficient than he is at knocking down the maples. They bowl on the same evening – Tuesday night at Wykrem Recreation. Not so long ago, Urban kayoed the maples for a 400 series in All-City League. Just one shift later, his wife connected for 458."

Here's an early ad for the renamed Supper Club. It ran in the Chronicle-Telegram on Friday, January 19, 1945; the featured band was Lee's Trio.
January 1945 Elyria Chronicle-Telegram ad
Here's another ad (below) for the Supper Club, this time highlighting Urban Miller as the owner/manager. It ran in the Chronicle-Telegram on October 2, 1946. The Club was featuring Paul Brosky's Syncopators and the ad included a neat caricature of the group.
1946 Elyria Chronicle-Telegram ad
The Supper Club featured a variety of talented musical groups over the years. Some of the groups mentioned in 1940s and 1950s ads included Brosky's Syncopators, Duke Nelson, Jimmy Alu, the Continentals, and Jack, Jean and Dusty, "A Harmony Trio From the West."
During the 1952 Christmas season, the Millers apparently took advantage of their property's high-profile location. They ran ads in the Chronicle-Telegram announcing 4 to 12 foot fresh-cut Christmas trees for sale and available at the Supper Club property.
And as noted yesterday on this blog, the Millers announced their "All New" Supper Club with an ad (below) that ran in the Journal on December 8, 1954. Various local contractors were highlighted in the ad, including Joseph Finochi & Son General Contractor, Haladey Electric, Gintonio Plastering Co., Modern Floor Covering, and Miller Upholstering and Mfg. Company.
1954 Lorain Journal ad
And here's another Journal ad (below), this time from March 4, 1955. Note well-known Lorain bandleader Pete Galanic and his orchestra were the performers.

Next: the Supper Club changes hands

No comments: