Tucked away near the hustle and bustle of Strongsville’s busy downtown square, you’ll find Don’s Pomeroy House, an elegant and charming escape inside an 18th-century mansion. While it’s unfair to say the almost 40-year-old restaurant hasn’t changed with the times as much as the city landscape that surrounds it, it has done so while maintaining a cozy, secret garden atmosphere that its patrons appreciate. Don Strang Jr. opened the establishment in the 1960s, joining the same industry as his father, and went on to create several Don’s brand eateries such as Don’s Lighthouse Grille. Now, the Strongsville location will celebrate its 40th anniversary next month. Today, Don’s sons Peter Strang and Don Strang III run the company, Strang Corp. “We consistently provide good food and service, and as a result, people come back,” says Peter Strang. Here, he muses on what makes Don’s Pomeroy House a mainstay.
On the restaurant’s name: It came from the Alanson Pomeroy family, who owned the homestead, which was built in the 1840s. It was part of the underground railroad back in the day. Underneath the old part of the house was the final stage, where slaves were kept until they were ready to be transported across Lake Erie to Canada.
On embracing change: When we first opened, the downstairs pub was strictly a bar with no food. Back in the late 1980s, we saw a change in dining habits and added a separate pub menu with upscale bar food. We also added a patio. When the weather’s nice, everybody’s looking for the patio. It has a beautiful, natural tree canopy with white lights.
On customer favorites: The Don’s Seafood Chowder and Don’s Fishmarket Salad have been on the menu forever. The chowder is a Manhattan red chowder, which you don’t see a lot in Cleveland. The salad — mixed greens topped with baby salad shrimp, chopped egg and blue cheese dressing — originated at Don’s Fishmarket, which we operated in Rocky River from 1976 to 1996. It’s an item people remember when they come to our restaurant.
On being a classic: Oftentimes, older restaurants get lost in the shuffle because there’s so much new going on in the dining scene. It’s nice to hear that some people think old is good. It means you’ve been doing something well for a while.
When You Go: Don’s Pomeroy House / 13664 Pearl Road, Strongsville, 440-572-1111, donspomeroyhouse.com
Read More: Click here to read the full list of 18 Classic Cleveland Restaurants.