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Hanna Lounge

Hanna Lounge was downtown Cleveland’s first Black-owned restaurant and cocktail lounge. In 1953, Black entrepreneurs and brothers-in-law Oslet F. Lowery Jr. and Robert “Bobby” Thompson opened the Hanna Lounge in the former space occupied by the Hanna Grill in the Dorn Hotel at 2121 East 14th Street. The restaurant was on the southeast corner of East 14th and Prospect across from the Hanna Building Annex, and it was an alternative to the less welcoming Euclid Avenue restaurants for Black patrons of the nearby Hanna Theater. The restaurant’s interior featured art by Black muralist Charles L. Sallee Jr., who had also painted the interior wall scenes at the Log Cabin in the 1930s and Cafe Tia Juana in the 1940s. Oslet Lowery had previously worked at the Statler and Hollenden Hotels downtown. His wife (and Thompson’s sister) Osceola joined the business as hostess a few weeks after it opened. The Call & Post referred to her as the city’s only “bona fide” hostess who was African American. Several months after it opened, the Hanna Lounge underwent a remodeling that added features such as a tropical fish aquarium to its cocktail lounge section. In October 1954 during the Indians’ World Series run, the Hanna Lounge offered Mambo dance lessons as an enticement to local and visiting fans. The following year the establishment added live musical acts.

Hanna Lounge was downtown Cleveland’s first Black-owned restaurant and cocktail lounge.

In 1957, after selling the Hanna Lounge to Al and Irene Liggins, another Black couple, the Lowerys moved to Mexico City to operate a restaurant and jazz bar named Lowery Patio. The Ligginses also continued to operate their longtime jukebox business. In 1961 the Ligginses moved the Hanna Lounge to 7701 Carnegie Avenue, in the same block where Fleet Slaughter’s Lancer Steakhouse had opened the previous year. The Hanna Lounge operated at least through the mid-1970s. In 1976, it was among 31 businesses targeted by police raids, in its case on suspicion of illegal gambling. The business did not appear in the Call & Post thereafter.

Additional information coming soon.


  • “Hanna Lounge Hostess Is in Unique Position.” Call & Post. September 26, 1953.
  • “Hanna Lounge Near Ball Park: to Give Mambo Dances on Saturdays.” Call & Post. October 2, 1954.
  • “Hanna Lounge, The Former Hanna Grill Will Open September 16th.” Call & Post. September 5, 1953.
  • “Hanna Lounge To Introduce Cocktail Hour To Cleveland.” Call & Post. September 12, 1953.
  • “Hanna Lounge Trio Proving Most Popular Hosts in Downtown Area.” Call & Post. October 24, 1953.
  • “Hundreds Attracted To ‘Triple Event’ At Hanna Lounge.” Call & Post. July 24, 1954.
  • “Lowerys Moving to New Home in Mexico.” Call & Post. January 19, 1957.
2121 E 14th St