Lake Erie Drive-in was located at 4503 Liberty Avenue.
|Courtesy Ritter Public Library|
|Ad from the May 26, 1965 Vermilion Photojournal|
|Ad from the August 27, 1970 Vermilion Photojournal|
Rather than paraphrase information about the Drive-in found online, here’s a link to a nice article about its history by Rich Tarrant, webmaster of the "Vermilion Views” website.
Today, the building that housed Lake Erie Drive-in is the home of Jim’s Pizza Box.
The late, great Elberta Inn was located at 4320 Liberty Avenue.
I wrote about Elberta Inn a few times in the past. Back here, I posted a fascinating aerial photo of the Inn from the archives of the Lorain Historical Society; on this post I featured some great vintage ads announcing the upcoming May 1935 performance of Duke Ellington there; and on this post, I wrote briefly about the tragic fire that destroyed the Inn in February 2011, and led to the empty lot that is there today.
|The view on the day after the fire|
Right next door to Elberta Inn to the west was Cavalier China, at 4340 Liberty Avenue.
Now this is a store that I remember – mainly because of the sign on the building. It included a large, 1950s clip-art style illustration of a woman’s head. I seem to recall that she was gesturing or pointing, similar to the illustration below (although her hand was closer to her face). Does anyone else remember this sign? I’d sure like to see a photo of it.
Cavalier China was previously located in Lorain at 1431 Colorado Avenue, before moving to Vermilion in April 1965. Putnam Furniture was the previous tenant of the building.
|Courtesy Vermilion Photojournal|
The March 31, 1965 issue of the Vermilion Photojournal included an article (along with the photo above) about Putnam Furniture’s move to a new location. Referencing the old building at 4340 Liberty, the article noted that it “was formerly a dance hall and skating rink.”
You can see the former dance hall/skating rink in the aerial photo below (which I referenced above while discussing the Elberta Inn). Only part of the building survives today.
|The large, multi-story building to the left of the Elberta Inn would later be the home of Cavalier China|
Today the building at 4340 Liberty is home to Pet Depot. Here’s the link to the company’s Facebook page.
The A&W Root Beer stand was located at 4372 Liberty Avenue. I’ve written about it before (here), as it was a place that my parents took us to.
Today, Wendy’s is at that location.
There are a lot of other businesses in that 1970 directory listing that are gone, but whose buildings live on with new tenants. West Side Federal Savings & Loan’s building at 4400 Liberty is now home to Fifth Third Bank; the Lawson’s Milk building at 4410 Liberty has been repurposed for use by several small businesses.
But the one thing in the 1970 directory that surprised me was finding out that Vermilion once had a Manners at 4566 Liberty Avenue. Here’s a photo of the restaurant that appeared in the Vermilion Photojournal on May 21, 1970.
I’m not sure if it really was a Manners Big Boy or just a Manners. This Grand Opening ad (below) from the June 25, 1970 Vermilion Photojournal doesn’t even mention the famous double-decker hamburger.
The 4566 Liberty Avenue address puts the Manners roughly near the entrance driveway to the Crystal Shore Apartments. But I’m not exactly sure which corner it was on; does anyone remember? And could you get a Big Boy there (or had Manners already lost its affiliation with the famous sandwich by then)?
UPDATE (April 30, 2020)
If you read the comment section, you’ll note that our friend Bill Nahm has answered my question as to the location of the Manners restaurant. It was right where the Rite Aid drug store is today.
You’ll also note that I’ve acknowledged that some of those 1970 addresses are incorrect in that Baldwin ConSurvey directory. Thus I’ve posted (below) the listings from the 1970 Dickman directory, since they seem to be more accurate.