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HomeNewsLocal
Published: 7/30/2008

Original prices back on menu as Toledo's Schmucker's celebrates 60th

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Pam Poland heads to a table. Schmucker's is charging 1948 prices on three items for dine-in customers. Pam Poland heads to a table. Schmucker's is charging 1948 prices on three items for dine-in customers.
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In the original phone booth, Doug Schmucker takes down an order. In the original phone booth, Doug Schmucker takes down an order.
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Not much has changed over the years at Schmucker's Restaurant on Reynolds Road in Toledo.

The 13 chrome stools at the lunch counter have been there from the beginning, as has the wooden phone booth in the corner. The food is still good, plentiful, and inexpensive.

Co-owner Doug Schmucker said the ability to remain rooted in the past may be the key to Schmucker's long success.

"We're not trendy, not a national chain you can find in every city," Mr. Schmucker, 48, said of his faded yellow-brick diner, which will celebrate 60 years in business tomorrow.

Schmucker's is turning back the price clock on some of its more popular menu items this week for customers who dine in.

The $3.49 Wimpyburger hamburger is 99 cents, the $1.99 two eggs and toast is 48 cents, and a $2.79 slice of pie is 99 cents. Through yesterday afternoon, the restaurant had served over 300 99-cent burgers, about 100 48-cent breakfast specials, and over 500 slices of 99-cent pie.

"We offer real home cooking. I know a lot of national chains claim that, but when I have someone here hand-peeling potatoes, chopping french fries, and making pies every day, I think that gives 'home cooking' a better definition compared to what you'd get at a chain," Mr. Schmucker said.

"I have people asking me weekly, 'When are you going to remodel or expand?' I usually respond, 'Why? So I can look like every other restaurant?'•"

Arlo and Lois Strole, who are in their 70s, have been Schmucker's customers for decades - Mr. Strole practically since it opened.

"It's a great place to eat - if you can find a seat!" he said.

Begun in 1948 by Mr. Schmucker's grandparents, Harvey and Nola Schmucker, the place originally was called Schmucker's Dairy Bar and focused on ice cream and pies made by Nola.

As the business changed into a restaurant, pies remained a constant. From 2002 to 2005 the family ran a separate pie-making business, Schmucker's Pie Kitchen Ltd., but closed it when diet trends and economic conditions hurt sales.

But Schmucker's still supplies pies to Churchill's Super Market, Sautter's Five-Star Markets, and Monnette's Market on Reynolds Road.

Contact Jon Chavez at:

jchavez@theblade.com

or 419-724 -6128.



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