Front View of Thomas House

Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

Five images of buildings and grounds

McKinley Restaurant

Ward — Thomas Museum
Home of the Niles Historical Society
503 Brown Street Niles, Ohio 44446

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Mail: PO Box 368 Niles, Ohio 44446

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McKinley Restaurant in Niles, Ohio.

The restaurant was located at 9 North Main Street, between the Antler Hotel and Credit Thrift, and had seating for 70 people, not including those patrons seated at the bar. It was owned and operated by Kemal and Julia Sisco Yakop for more than 20 years. Kemal and Julia are behind the bar in the picture below. Kemal is located on the left, with Julia located in the middle with her hand on the bottle. In the early fifties, Kemal had the huge muskie he caught mounted and displayed over the bar as a conversation piece.

The McKinley Restaurant was fondly known for its homecooking and delicious dinner specials. It was most famously remembered for Julia’s home-made hot dog sauce, with many folks remembering the Lunch Special of two chili dogs for twenty-five cents. With those low prices, it was a common lunch time destination for high school students who would walk over from the Niles McKinley High School.

In 1948, the McKinley Restaurant housed one of the first television sets for public viewing in Niles, with an 18 by 20 inch screen. This attraction drew in large numbers of customers, all leaving well-fed and well-served. The McKinley Restaurant continues to be a fondly remembered landmark in downtown Niles, and probably will be for many years to come.

Story contributed by the Michael Putkovich Family.

As with most downtown buildings in Niles, the McKinley Restaurant fell under the wrecking ball in 1976 when urban renewal razed the building

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