Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dorothy and Elmer Tavern in Sheffield Lake

Courtesy Paula Shorf
I had a little trouble yesterday trying to pinpoint just where the Dorothy and Elmer tavern was located at 4790 Lake Road in Sheffield Lake for yesterday's post. (The address no longer exists.) There are only a few online references to it, mainly on the Sheffield Lake Forum pages of – which were helpful.

Initially, I wasn't sure if perhaps Dorothy and Elmer's was torn down to make way for Amber Oaks, but now I know they co-existed for a short while – at least the two buildings did.

I did dig up some background information on the owners too. "Elmer" was Elmer Bartel (1890 - 1967), who ran the tavern with his wife Dorothy (1897 - 1977) for 22 years before retiring in the late 1950s/early 1960s. Apparently they sold the business to Paul Uca and Paul Tasse, who ran it for a couple of years in the early 1960s before they finally built and opened Amber Oaks right next door at 4798 Lake Road in May 1963.

Beginning with Amber Oaks' first appearance in the 1964 city directory, the listing for Dorothy and Elmer disappeared – and was replaced with Sheffield Lake Beverage. By the time of the 1965 book, the 4790 Lake Road address was listed as vacant.

For roughly the next 15 years, a few businesses made a go of it at the Dorothy and Elmer location. There was also a residence in the back of the building with its own listing at the same 4790 Lake Road address.

Walter's Delicatessen was listed in the 1966 directory, followed by Lu's Delicatessen which appeared in the 1968 and 1969 books. By the time of the 1970 edition, the address was vacant – and would remain so until the 1975 book, when the Flower Box appeared. But it too would only be listed for one more year before the 4790 Lake Road address went vacant for good.

I'm pretty sure that the former Dorothy and Elmer's tavern was finally torn down and replaced by the Convenient Food Mart that opened in 1979 at 4786 Lake Road. Look for a final update below next week after I speak with the gentleman who operated the store back then.

That's Amber Oaks on the left and Vollick's Bi-Rite Xpress
(the former location of Dorothy and Elmer's tavern) on the right

UPDATE (Feb. 17, 2015)
I spoke with Mr. Dennis Vollick, owner of the Bi-Rite Express store and the original owner/operator of the Convenient Food Mart store in Sheffield Lake in the 1970s. He confirmed for me that the site was definitely cleared and empty before the Convenient store was constructed.

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