Monday, February 2, 2015

Urban Miller's Supper Club Part 5

After I posted the final part of my series on Urban Miller's Supper Club (back here), I began receiving emails and comments that quickly made it apparent that there was more to the story than I ever could have imagined. Unfortunately, it is a sad coda to the tale of the Supper Club.

Rick Kurish generously provided me with an article from the Chronicle-Telegram that explained how the former Supper Club at 6312 Lake Avenue became the Cambridge Inn in 1968.

As the article (written by Kathy Fenstermaker) noted, "A college tavern-owner who knows what his patrons want and how to please them is Doug Ruble, swinging proprietor of the Cambridge Inn. Ruble, 20, an enterprising Lorain County Community College student from Toledo, decided what this area needed was a pub-type Mecca for the college set.

Collegians pack the Cambridge Inn
(C-T photo by William F. Naegele)
"Instead of complaining about the situation, Ruble sold his car, got a lease and 3.2 liquor license and started a place of his own. Friends from LCCC helped Ruble whip the old Supper Club building on Lake Avenue into a frothy mixture of English pub and German beer-parlor. They made rough-hewn tables and picnic style benches which are grouped cozily at each end of the semi-dark room. An extended bar, with an ample stock of 3.2 draft beer, completes the "Andy Capp"-style club. Ruble – searching through old English books with his three rommates – named his investment Cambridge and the Inn was ready for business. Male patrons must be enrolled in a college or university and female patrons must be 18 year of age or older.

"The first night Cambridge was open in May, the house was packed and a record 11 kegs of 3.2 beer were sold. Business has been booming ever since."

Two years later, the Cambridge Inn later became the notorious Pandora's Box – and later, the target of a drug raid in late February 1971.

According to the Chronicle-Telegram of Monday, February 22, 1971, fourteen people were arrested by Lorain County sheriff's deputies after a full-scale drug raid involving 90 deputies and the state attorney general's office agents. Thirteen adults and four juveniles were charged with drug violations.
The former Supper Club as it looked when it was Pandora's Box
and was raided by drug agents (C-T photo)
As I pointed out in Part 4 of this series, by the mid-1970s, the building had reverted back to its original name – Miller's Supper Club – and was rented out for various private functions before finally becoming a casualty of Lake/Elyria Avenue road improvements.

Thanks to Rick Kurish and all who contacted me to help make this story more complete.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a freshman in 71 I had heard of Pandora's Box. We all talked about going one day. Then we heard about the raid. Lurid details swirled around school. We were unaware of any goings on there. We were just day dreaming on what we were going to do when we got older! I could kick myself for ever wanting to be Older.