Jim's Steak House
Cleveland, Ohio

Coming soon on Ohio66:
“Starring George Maharis” - by Rick Dailey

Ohio66 presents an in-depth look at the circumstances surrounding the departure of George Maharis from route 66 in the middle of the third season.

preview Starring George Maharis

From the Back of the House - Memories of a Steak House Clan
G.L. Rockey

Located in Ohio's celebrated Cleveland Flats, Jim's Steak House was the place to go for people from Cleveland to London and beyond. Thousands of patrons from boat captains to school teachers to movers and shakers celebrated anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, graduations, special memories, and more of Jim's. While dining on their favorite choice cuts of beef and famous hash browns, they ogled the fabled Cuyahoga River, the Terminal Tower, and giant oar boats easing round Collision Point.

Beginning with the restaurant's founding in 1930 by Greek emigrant, James Kerkles, the story recounts his marriage to much younger, and colorful Hilda Hoffman. After Kerkles' untimely death, Hilda (later to be known as The Queen of the Flats) nurtured her two most cherished "babies": Jim's Steak House and her deceased sister's son, Raymond Rockey.

Adopted into the Jim's family at the age of ten by life long restaurateur, Raymond Rockey, G. L. Rockey grew up living in the apartment above Jim's and witnessed, from the back, top, and front, what some call the "hospitality business." This is the personal recollection-"cynical, biting, opinionated, humorous, poignant, revealing"-of Jim's and the clan that were part of a major city's restaurant scene for sixty-plus years.

"No small potatoes," noted Cleveland author Les Roberts' detective Milan Jacovich, operates out of a fictional office next to Jim's. In real life, Roberts hung out in Jim's lounge and has written an introduction to his book.

Inserted throughout are scrapbook photographs, newspaper reviews, magazine articles, and Jim's menus that verify and chronicle a colorful chunk of local history and culture.

G.L. Rockey's website

Order From the Back of the House - Amazon.com
Order From the Back of the House - Publisher's website
Order From the Back of the House - PDF file / U.S. Mail

Ray Rockey / Jim's
Ray Rockey / Jim's

Scene from <i>Route 66</i>
Scene from <i>Route 66</i>

Ray Rockey

A photo from G.L. Rockey's book that accompanied a 1964 Cleveland Press review of Jim's along with a matching scene from Welcome to the Wedding filmed two years earlier.

Ray Rockey was the long-time proprietor of Jim's


STEAKS ARE SHIPSHAPE ON COLLISION BEND

From the window tables at Jim's Steak House, at 1800 Scranton Rd. in the Flats, diners have an unobstructed backdoor view of the heart of Cleveland, including the Terminal group of buildings. This is impressive day or night, fair weather or foul

During the shipping season freighters inching around Collision Bend often beam their searchlights into the glass enclosed dining room by way of greeting, and even in winter, with river traffic at a halt, there are lights and life aboard vessels tied up nearby along the Cuyahoga.

Our colleauge Winsor French ... once enthused in print "surely one of the most spectacular restaurants in the country," and bracketed this phrase with "breathtaking" and "dramatic." ... Manager is Raymond Rockey.

(Bill Dvorak, The Cleveland Press, Jan. 10, 1964).

<i>From the personal collection of <a href="http://www.glrockey.com">G.L. Rockey</a> - used by permission.</i>
<i>From the personal collection of <a href="http://www.glrockey.com">G.L. Rockey</a> - used by permission.</i>

Abe Haberman / Barbara Davis

Route 66 make-up artist Abe Haberman puts the finishing touches on actress Barbara Davis (Emily) before a scene is shot.

<i>From the personal collection of <a href="http://www.glrockey.com">G.L. Rockey</a> - used by permission.</i>
<i>From the personal collection of <a href="http://www.glrockey.com">G.L. Rockey</a> - used by permission.</i>

Abe Haberman / Barbara Davis

If Route 66 had been filmed in color we would have known what a stunning redhead Barbara Davis was. Oh well, she looks good in black and white too.

<i>From the personal collection of <a href="http://www.glrockey.com">G.L. Rockey</a> - used by permission.</i>
<i>From the personal collection of <a href="http://www.glrockey.com">G.L. Rockey</a> - used by permission.</i>

Buz and Tod on the lawn at Jim's
Buz and Tod on the lawn at Jim's

The Wedding Ceremony

This photo from G.L. Rockey's collection appears to have been taken through a window during the final moments of the episode as the wedding ceremony has just begun. George Maharis and Martin Milner can be seen in the center in a pose very similar to that in the screen capture below.

<i>From the personal collection of <a href="http://www.glrockey.com">G.L. Rockey</a> - used by permission.</i>
<i>From the personal collection of <a href="http://www.glrockey.com">G.L. Rockey</a> - used by permission.</i>

A Classic View of Jim's

Probably dating from the 1960s

<i>From the personal collection of <a href="http://www.glrockey.com">G.L. Rockey</a> - used by permission.</i>
<i>From the personal collection of <a href="http://www.glrockey.com">G.L. Rockey</a> - used by permission.</i>

Jim's / Terminal Tower

This photo probably dates from the late 1980s - after the Tower City Center reconstruction - and before the mid 1990s when Jim's closed.

Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field - September, 2009
Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field - September, 2009

Quicken Loans Arena / Progressive Field

The view across the river from Jim's. That's Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cavaliers in the center (go Shaq and LeBron in 2010!) and Progressive Field - Cleveland Indians - to the right. The Indians will also be playing in 2010 and may even win a game or two.

The lawn overgrown with weeds - September, 2009
The lawn overgrown with weeds - September, 2009

The Lawn

The lawn today - overgrown with weeds and in a general state of disrepair.

Despite appearances, this is not an attempt at product placement on my site - I just happened to like this shot with a can of Raid in the foreground. Then again, maybe I'll contact S.C. Johnson and see if they're interested.

From the deck of the Goodtime III - July 7, 2009
From the deck of the Goodtime III - July 7, 2009

One Final Photo

From the deck of the Goodtime III river and lake tour boat.

Ohio66 Home Ohio66 Home...