10 YEARS IN TREMONT
It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since Prosperity Social Club opened in Tremont, but maybe that’s because this charming neighborhood pub—with its local Cleveland brewery signs and Eastern European-inspired comfort food menu specialties—has always acknowledged its history. “There’s a soul to this place you feel the moment you step through the door,” asserts owner Bonnie Flinner, who was attracted to the bar’s story and character when she purchased it in 2005. “I am proud to be the current caretaker of this building—preserving that energy and history.” On Saturday, October 17, 2015, from 1-4pm, Flinner invites the community to celebrate Prosperity Social Club’s 10th year in business at a neighborhood reunion.
“Ten years is something to celebrate in the restaurant business for sure, but doesn’t seem like a very long time when you remember that Stan Dembowski opened Dempsey’s Oasis here in 1938,” says Flinner, talking about the bar that occupied 1109 Starkweather prior to Prosperity Social Club.
A popular establishment catering to steel mill employees and ethnic residents, the business stayed in the Dembowksi family for more than six decades. Stan’s son and daughter-in-law who ran Dempsey’s Oasis for 33 of those years, Richard and Theresa Dembowski, will be guests of honor at Prosperity’s public party, offering neighbors, old friends and current and former customers a chance to come together and swap stories in a familiar haunt. “Dempsey’s Oasis was a place for celebrations,” says Theresa Dembowski, adding that memories of those events surely must include the aroma of Polish food. “It was always a place where good friends came to meet. We are happy to see Bonnie continuing that spirit in the neighborhood with Prosperity Social Club.”
There should be plenty to reminisce about. Whether it was seeing one of the first available black-and-white TV sets flickering through the front windows of the bar or being bribed with a bag of pretzels to keep dad’s stop at the bar a secret, Flinner hears stories about the old days all time. That’s exactly what she hopes comes out of the neighborhood reunion too. “Many people have fond recollections of this place that make it special to them,” says Flinner. “I want to learn more about the building, the neighborhood and the city through their stories and I want to preserve those memories for posterity.”
Guests are strongly encouraged to bring neighborhood photos. Images will be scanned that day for possible inclusion in a Prosperity Social Club collage installation. Cleveland State University’s Center for Public History + Digital Humanities will also be on-site recording oral histories to be archived in the Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection. They hope to use information collected to add an entry on Cleveland Historical (clevelandhistorical.org) about Prosperity/Dempsey’s Oasis and to highlight especially interesting stories through audio excerpts on Cleveland Voices.
Well-wishers looking for a meal can order from the brunch menu. The full bar will also be available. Prosperity Social Club is providing complimentary coffee, soft drinks, pastry and, of course, a celebratory birthday dessert.
About Prosperity Social Club: Residing in an original 1938 barroom, Prosperity Social Club is open to the public, being a social club only in a figure of speech, behavior and attitude; a tip of the hat to a past era. Prosperity Social Club offers a full-service bar, great microbrews, a variety of affordable wines, performances by an array of talented musicians, a friendly staff and a smart, eclectic clientele. The kitchen stays open for late night dining with a sophisticated, tavern-style menu (that even accommodates vegetarians). It’s a true Cleveland experience. www.prosperitysocialclub.com
About the 10-Year Birthday & Neighborhood Reunion: On Sat., Oct. 17, 1-4pm, Prosperity Social Club celebrates 10 years in Tremont by paying tribute to the bar that started it all—Dempsey’s Oasis. Visit with longtime Dempsey’s Oasis owners Richard and Teresea Dembowski, share memories of the neighborhood with Cleveland State University’s Center for Public History + Digital Humanities, scan a photo for a collage installation and enjoy a little birthday dessert—on the house.
To Share Via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn: Can you believe it’s been 10 yrs? Celebrate @prosperitySC’s bday Sat, Oct 22, 1-4p + bring your stories! #thisisCLE