German Americans of Cleveland

Cleveland Press Articles

German Saloons Faded by 1900

"100 Years of Nationalities in Cleveland"
22nd of a Series
By Theodore Andrica
Cleveland Press, date unknown

Up to the early 1900's the German saloons and summer gardens were as much part of the German picture in Cleveland as were the Turn and Gesangvereins and the churches.

The beer industry growth brought more competition in the tavern field, the industry of the free lunch brought more "strangers" into the "wirthschaft" and the place of the familiar "stammtisch," the table in a saloon where friends met daily, was taken by private clubs.

Toward the turn of the century the rapid industrialization of the city killed off another venerable German custom: the Blue Monday. In the old days it was the custom of skilled workers to nurse their hangovers acquired during the weekend on Monday, hence the name: "Blaue Montag."

Eventually the genuine old fashioned German saloon was gone and when prohibition came along the sprit of "gemuetlichkeit," too was gone.

One of the oldest German saloons in Cleveland was Carl Frank's "wirtschaft" on Bellevue Place, where the Haymarket was established later. This was a real German "Volksgarden" and it was here that the first Cleveland Turners held their exercises in the 1850's.

Lang's beer saloon at Erie and Parkman Sts. (East Ninth and Scovill) was the favorite place of the Blue Monday fraternity.

Schlegel's tavern nicknamed "Jerusalem" was nearby. German Jews who lived around the former Central Market, up to Woodland and Perry Sts., were steady guests at both Lang's and Schlegel's, but mostly in the last.

Among the daily guests in Schlegel's and Lang's were such German pioneers as Jacob Finger, Moritz Liebich, John Messer, Henry Gaentzler, Franz Kaltemeyer, Heinrich Rochotte, Karl Buerger, Karl Duefeld, Karl Ankele, Gregor Dietz, Franz Reinhard, Joseph Agricola, Paul Heine, Dr. Wuest, P.F. Schroeder, Louis Krueger, Karl Schneider, Daniel Uhl and Karl Roszkopf.

Spring Cottage was a cafe and restaurant on Lake St., owned by John G. R. Frey. Many balls were held there and the first fireworks, on special occasions, were the talk of the town.

Paul Schmidt opened at saloon and boarding house on Chatham St., on the "West Side", in the middle 1850's. In 1863 he moved his place "downtown," to 82 Michigan St., where the Terminal group is now located.

Seiler's saloon, on Michigan St. next to Schmidt's, was a favorite meeting place for the German "elite." In the 1860's Frank Haltnorth opened his tavern, the Wilhelm Tell, on Walter (W. 9th) St. His place was very popular in the Civil War era.

At the corner of Forest St. where the Erie tracks cross, was Dangelem's beer tavern and garden, a very popular place for German families. Trinkner's Garden, on Kinsman St. was a much frequented German picnic ground.

Well known German beer gardens were Kindsvater's on E. 55th St.; Dahler's on Tod St.; Raaf s in Brooklyn; Sommer's Tivolian Garden on Pearl St.; Gieszen's; Hoffman's Forest; Lied's Tavern; F. Diebold's and F. H. Benz taverns.

Other old German taverns were Joseph Kieferle's Black Whale on Champlain St.; Albert Eisele's saloon at Superior and Bond (E. Sixth) St.; Paul Heine's or Water (W. Ninth) St.; Fred Sheurmann's Tavern on Huron St.; Boehmke's on E. Ninth St.; E. Kirchstein's; Lemberth's Central Hotel on Champlain St.; Brun Schwarzer's on Lorain St.; Silberg Brothers on Columbus Rd.; Weber's 242 Superior St.; Grebe's on E. Fourth St.; John Naumann's on Ontario St.