Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Lotz Grocery Once Stood at the Corner of Shelby and West Washington Streets

The popular eatery Joe Sundae’s has been in operation at the northeast corner of Shelby and West Washington Streets since 2007, but this commercial property has been home to several other businesses since the 1850s. Ellie Damm wrote in her book Treasure by the Bay that Henry Lotz had this building constructed between 1850 and 1852, along the edge of the Old Plat of the city of Sandusky, and ran a grocery store at this location for over thirty years. Below is a portion of page 61 from Hellrigle’s 1876 Sandusky City Directory. This listing states that Henry Lotz resided at the same address as his grocery store.

After Lotz died in 1887, a variety of different businesses were located in this historic brick structure. It was briefly a millinery shop. For a time, Mr. Lotz's granddaughter Myrtle L. Meagher had her piano studio on the upper floor. In the early 1920s the Maschari Brothers had their fruit store here, before moving to the current location. On Friday, April 17, 1925,  a Kroger’s store opened at 1119 West Washington Street. Bread sold for ten cents a loaf, and flour was $1.35 for twenty four and a half pounds.

The Kroger’s store was in business at 1119 West Washington Street until the early 1940s. (In 1932 there were seven Kroger stores in Sandusky.)  

From 1945 until about 2005 Cronin’s Tavern was at this location. Dan Cronin had a tavern on West Market Street before moving to this location. Later the proprietor of Cronin’s was Bee Bumgardner. In 1964 Cronin’s customers were entertained by Adrian “Foxey” Fox on drums and Phyllis Kromer at the piano and organ. During the 1960s a large advertisement for P.O.C. pilsener beer was painted on the Shelby Street side of Cronin’s Tavern. You can see a picture of Cronin’s Tavern on page 72 of Ellie Damm’s book Treasure by the Bay. The building at Shelby and  West Washington has seen thousands of local residents pass through its doors through its many years of existence in our community.

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