When Frank Sterle opened his Slovenian Country House in 1954 it became the ethnic center for Eastern European families yearning for a taste of home.
Judy Sheridan remembers it well.
"The food was very familiar and homey and everyone liked to come here because of the atmosphere and the music," she said.
But economic reality is re-purposing the iconic building. It will now be an event center.
"We have such a huge demand for people wanting to do their graduation, birthday celebration, business meetings private events we want to use the facility properly," says Executive Director of Culinary and Innovation and Executive Chef, Natasha Pogrebinsky.
Born in Ukraine, she understands the love of traditional dishes.
"We're not taking anything away we want to make sure those classics, those traditional dishes and that love that we have for this community and the love they have for us it's not being broken we're here to stay we're just rebranding," she says.
So new ideas mix with old. The whole area around the building is getting a facelift. Next door is Cafe 55 where you can still get chicken paprikash as well as healthy breakfasts and lunches.
Connected is Goldhorn Brewery. An homage to Eastern European beers that include imported hops from the region.
Peggy Phillips of Bay Village remembers dinners at the Country House from years ago. Today she's enjoying Goldhorn and is thrilled with the vibe.
"I think it's OK, we always change and now that they have the brewery, it's wonderful, she said.
Many are sad that a staple of their family and youth won't be the same as it was, but it came down to a business decision.
The building can host three events at once for up to 750 people. It wasn't filling those seats for daily restaurant offerings.
And as for the food, it's not going away, it's just going next door. Starting next week, those traditional dishes will begin appearing on Goldhorn's menu. Sterle's will also be open for special Chef dinners and for any ethnic events happening in Cleveland.
And very soon, a farmer's market will open in the space and across the street in the old Lakeshore Banking and Trust building will house another new restaurant and lounge.
The neighborhood is changing, but still respects the old ways.
Click on the video below to hear more from Chef Pogrebinsky about offerings soon to be available at Hub 55.
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