Lake Erie Legacy

Regarding “ JOE”S BAR”.


Once upon a time, “back in the day”... so to speak... there was a carryout store on the State Park side of South Bass Island called “The Press House”.  The fellow who ran it was Joe Suttman about whom you will hear more about down the road.  I’m pretty sure Mark Twain would have loved this guy, he had a smidgen of Tom Sawyer and a dose of Huck Finn in his DNA and he loved nothing so much as good music and a reasonable joke, prank or drink in any order that you might choose!  Like I said... the fellow who ran it soon discovered that selling ice, fish bait and jiffy pop to the weekend residents of the state park was not nearly as much fun as selling cases of brew to wayward tourists and starting an island rumor or two.   This led to him closing the “Press House Carryout and Convenience Store and Supply Emporium” in favor of opening a small tavern he called “Joe’s Place” thus giving him the opportunity to fortify his genetic disposition for BS and Jeagermeister and make a living sell articles of clothing (the main swag being his trademark tee shirts and hats).  It also gave him a chance to launch a culinary side business serving Sloppy Scotties (you can’t get a Sloppy Joe at Joe’s Place unless it’s near closing time and he is slurring).... and finally..... this new enterprise allowed him to grow rumors of prodigious size the like of which we might not again see on Put in Bay in our life time.

Needless to say, business was good. So good, in fact that Joe needed an “assistant” to help him maintain both his workspace and sanity.  He had several buddies (not the least of which was Jerry Percher - no relation to the fish) who helped him stock bottles on a regular basis but it was not until he teamed up with an island fellow John that the cultural foundation of Joe’s Place was set.  Jamaican John was a skinny lad of excellent character   I am happy to report that to this very day the customs set in place by these two gentle rascals still hold:  At Joe’s Place.... you are permitted to: 1. Show up!   2. Get a drink   3. Have almost too much fun.  4. Tip the bartender.  5. Laugh till your belly hurts.  6.  Get your own sorry butt down the road!   It’s just like heaven without the dying part.

 © Alex Bevan 2017