Actually, there were two businesses run by John H. Sutter – with one on each side of Broadway. Sutter’s Nut Shop was located at 636 Broadway next to the Tivoli Theatre. Sutter’s Sandwich Shop was at 525 Broadway.
Sutter’s Nut Shop seems to be the earlier of the two businesses, first appearing in the city directory and phone book in 1937. The sandwich store was in the next available directory, the 1940 edition.
For a time, there were more Sutter’s outlets listed in the city directory in addition to the two main stores in Downtown Lorain. In the early 1940s, there was one at 1924 Broadway and another at 2832 Broadway. There were even two stores on Pearl. But by the late 1940s, the two main stores located downtown were all that were listed in the directory,
|July 1, 1947 ad from the Lorain Journal|
It was a very popular store. “You couldn’t beat Sutter’s. That’s where the kids would meet,” explained my mother recently. “That’s who Sutter’s catered to: the kids.”
|Late 1950s phone book listing|
John Sutter retired around 1961, turning the restaurant business over to his son, John T. Sutter, who ran it for almost another twenty years.
The business moved to 710 Broadway near the end of its long run. John T. Sutter and his wife Janet also ran Sugar ’N Spice at 714 Broadway.
Sadly, Sutter’s Sandwich Shop disappeared in the 1980 city directory. Many longtime Downtown Lorain businesses closed around that time.
Hopefully, another family business can emulate Sutter’s success and make a long-term commitment to Downtown Lorain.
As my mother noted, “They sure could use a Sutter’s there now."