In 1948, Carrie Huggins Hulse opened Mrs. Hulse’s Dining Room, a restaurant and tea room in a Queen Anne–style rooming house at 8308 Euclid Avenue. Her establishment, which had operated as various white-owned restaurants since 1928 (most recently as Goldie’s in 1947), was likely the first African American–run business on Euclid Avenue. Hulse brought a decade or more of experience in catering to her business. Born in Alabama in 1904, she was the caterer for a number of white-owned restaurants and country clubs in Birmingham, most notably Club Rex (as known as the Hollywood Country Club), in the 1930s. By the war years she had migrated to Cleveland, where she worked as head dietician at John Carroll University and then Western Reserve University. Mrs. Hulse’s became a favorite spot for club luncheons and smaller meetings of professional conventions. While running Mrs. Hulse’s, she also managed the Majestic Hotel‘s dining room from 1950 to 1953. One of the patrons she served was Cleveland Indians first-baseman Luke Easter, who went on to assume the Majestic restaurant’s management in 1953. That same year, the house in which her business was located was sold and demolished for a used-car dealership, leading her to move to 1758 East 90th Street, where she operated Mrs. Hulse’s Guest House, combining her restaurant and catering with a tourist home. It is not clear when she closed her business, but she developed health problems that seem to have forced her to turn to domestic work in private homes. In fact, she was interviewing for one such job in a Shaker Heights home in 1962 when she suffered a fatal heart attack. While her time on Euclid Avenue was short-lived, it prefigured the later increase in Black businesses on the city’s prime commercial street in what became known as Fairfax.
- “Carrie Huggins, Caterer.” Shelby County Reporter [Columbiana, AL]. May 18, 1939.
- “Carrie Hulse, Caterer, Dies of Heart Attack.” Call and Post. February 3, 1962.
- “Luke Easter Opens New Majestic Cafe.” Call and Post. December 12, 1953.
- Mrs. C. Hulse Restaurant advertisement. Cleveland Plain Dealer. May 10, 1948.
- “Mrs. Hulse Closes Majestic Restaurant, Features Guest House.” Call and Post. September 12, 1953.
- “Mrs. Hulse Honored with Cocktail Party.” The Weekly Review [Birmingham, AL]. June 19, 1943.
- “Mrs. Hulse Opens New, Modern Guest House.” Call and Post. April 11, 1953.