1946’s owner Lynn Bolden was still unavailable for comment, despite numerous attempts by the Reflector.
“Lynn has been the new owner for the last year, and this doesn’t pertain to her as the new owner,” April Huffman, a manager of 1946, said. “We’re still open and conducting business from now on.”
Huffman said that 1946 Berry’s will continue to strive to serve the Norwalk community.
“We have Thanksgiving going on and we still have things planned as far as moving forward,” Huffman said. “We want to strive and serve the community.”
The restaurant’s previous owners are being foreclosed on by Civista Bank and a sheriff’s sale is scheduled for Dec. 16, according to the auditor’s office.
Eric Neuman, an attorney for Berry’s Restaurant Inc., had no comment.
Steve Schumm is a member of the Norwalk Rotary Club, which meets every Monday at Berry’s.
“It’s the nucleus,” Schumm said about the importance of Berry’s Restaurant in downtown Norwalk. “When you talk about Norwalk it’s the nucleus.
“When you talk about Berry’s Restaurant it is one of the focal points. It’s been there so long. It’s one of the positive responses I get when I talk about Norwalk. It’s been there so long.
“We meet there every Monday and what they have done they offer us a couple of things off the menu and they offer us a great salad bar.”
Schumm said Berry’s would be missed if it ever closed.
“In Norwalk, we take it too much for granted,” he said. “It is a super establishment. I grew up with Jim and Bob Berry. The thing people always commented about it was how friendly and welcoming it was when you walked in the door. That’s the key to a good business. ... Over the years people missed the Jim and Bob Berry relationships. That is something that has been missed. The personal relationship is real, real important.”
“Berry’s has been a staple in our community since 1946, there’s been a lot of memories made there,” said Kelly Lippus, the executive director of Huron County Chamber of Commerce and Norwalk Area Visitor’s Bureau.
“A lot of people travel to Norwalk to visit Berry’s and that creates people to walk downtown and shop at the local businesses. It would create a big impact on our community if Berry’s was no longer here.”
Lippus said if the building was empty, she hopes someone would open another restaurant in the space.
“(Berry’s has) been a staple in Norwalk for as long as I can recall. There’s a lot of people that know Norwalk because of them,” said Ken Leber, a past president of the Lions Club. “It’s a recognized name in downtown Norwalk and has been a pillar there.”
Leber said the restaurant provides a unique seating arrangement and a number of service clubs in the community meet there.
“It would be a big loss to the community (if it closed),” Leber said. “We’re hopeful that they see their way through this, they’re a valuable asset to the community and we would hate to lose it.”