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RIP The Lancer Steakhouse

December 7, 2009

by Monsieur Anton

Sunday morning arrived with some sad news.  Iconic Cleveland restaurant The Lancer Steakhouse was destroyed in an early morning fire.  Lancer’s, located at East 77th and Carnegie, had been a landmark restaurant in the African-American community, and the city as a whole for over fifty years.  There is no suspicion of foul play, and perhaps saddest of all, the building was not insured.

The fire occurred sometime between the restaurant’s closingSaturday at 2:30am and 5:30am when the fire was reported.  The blaze was too far along by the time fire personnel arrived.

Over the years, The Lancer had become a meeting place for the Cleveland’s black community, with politicians, lawyers and civic leaders seamlessly rubbing elbows with street hustles. 

The landmark eatery opened during  in 1960, and often was witness to history.  The Lancer was renowned for the many strategy sessions held there during Carl Stokes’ run to become America’s first black mayor of a major American city.  Recently, it was a central, and emotional center for the city’s celebration of Barak Obama’s presidency.

Nobody was made to feel out-of-place at The Lancer.  While largely an African-American spot, I can say that I, nor anybody of any race I ever saw there was made to feel uncomfortable.  It was truly a meeting spot for all in the area, and it will be missed terribly.

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