Monday, March 14, 2016

The Showboat in Huron

Vintage Postcard
(Courtesy of
Although I’ve been blogging about vintage Lorain eateries lately, let's wander over to Erie County to look back at some of that area’s truly original restaurants. For some reason, that city’s nautical heritage inspired entrepreneurs to create unusual and ambitious places that attracted people from miles around.

One of these was the Showboat restaurant and cocktail lounge in Huron, located at 10 North Main Street.

An article (below) announcing its grand opening ran in the Lorain Journal on June 16, 1971.

The article explains how the restaurant’s location at the foot of the Huron pier was originally home to the Huron Fish Company in the early 1900s.

Jake Claus and Walter Mesenburg were the creative owners behind the landmark restaurant, which was designed to resemble an old river boat.

Vintage Postcard
(Courtesy Flickr)
Ads for the restaurant occasionally ran in the Lorain Journal. Here’s one that ran on June 16, 1972, on the one-year anniversary of the restaurant’s opening.
Sadly, the restaurant was eventually condemned and demolished. One website specifically points out that it was not destroyed by fire, as a few published articles have claimed.
On a happier note, a couple of years ago the Showboat was the theme for one of the Huron Chamber of Commerce’s recognition nights (which you can read about here). Members of the Claus and Mesenburg families, who ran the restaurant for more than 20 years, were honored. Photos and artifacts were displayed, along with the actual front door of the restaurant.
Today, the former restaurant’s vacant property is described as the city's best “first opportunity” for development.


Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this place in the late 70's and early to mid-80's. It was a bit of a haul out to Huron but I always felt it was worth it, especially to see my favorite tribute band, The New Folk, who combined Kingston Trio songs with bawdy humor. Fun place, great times, decent food and excellent drinks. You just had to be careful not to fall into the Huron River on your way out.
Don Wozniak

Dan Brady said...

Hi Don!
I'll have to remember that "possibility of falling in the water" factor when it comes to choosing my favorite lakefront (or riverfront) place to imbibe!

Nicole Simpson said...

We would often visit here in the early and mid 80's when I was a kid...remember it fondly. So sad to hear it is demolished.

Unknown said...

I used 2 go there in the 70's (from Norwalk) with my grandma. My mom grew up within walking distance to the the beach (Mary Jane Wisda).
I LOVED the Showboat. Lots of GREAT memories.
Terri Fisher