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Chop Suey Joints and Vandersall's Grand Cafe ~ Lima Ohio Trade Token







Trade tokens for the GRAND CAFE / Lima Ohio / S.B. Vandersall 

Ad in the Lima News for the Grand Cafe, 1909, reads:

The Grand Cafe - Attending the Fair is one thing, but knowing where you can eat a nice clean meal and refresh yourself with a cool glass of pure beer is quite another. The Grand Cafe Invites your patronage and will serve you with a promptness, courtesy and cleanliness that will surprise you. Make the Grand Cafe your place to eat and drink while attending the Fair. The Grand Cafe keeps a fine assortment of pure liquors for private and medicinal use, and you should ask our advice in the matter of fine liquors for your household.

The Grand Cafe (Saloon) was located on the Town Square in Lima, which is at Market and Main. The earliest Lima News mention of the Grand Cafe is 1905, the latest is 1917.

Other than this token, I cannot connect Vandersall to the Grand Cafe. Two other names show up in the Lima News as the proprietor:

  • Robert Scott -- 1905 -- had money/legal troubles, (arrested for assault and battery) and closed the Grand Cafe. [Source]
  • John Hilly (Jack) (Hilley) -- purchased and reopened in 1905 [source], and in 1908 was arrested for illegal gambling (running a craps game) at the Grand Cafe. [Source]
While I did not find Vandersall's name mentioned along with the Grand Cafe, I'm guessing he took over after Hilly.



1906 Lima News ad says that "CHOP SUEY is now open at the Grand Cafe". In 1909 there was a new Chop Suey joint* on Wayne Street [Source]. There is no further mention of Chop Suey connected to the Grand Cafe, so they probably split up when Vandersall took over from Hilly.

I did find that his full name was Sardis Birchard Vandersall. (Also spelled online as Sardis Burch Vandersall.) 

Sardis Burch Vandersall - born in Sep 1867 in Jackson Twp, Sandusky, Ohio. He died in 1918 in LIma, Allen, Ohio. Buried - Kansas Cemetery, Liberty Twp., Seneca, Ohio.

He married Mary Viola Lewman, (born Jan 1865 in Liberty Twp, Seneca, Ohio; died in 1929) on 1 Nov 1893 in Seneca Co., Ohio. They had one child, Marie Vandersall, born in June 1897.

He was named after Sardis Birchard, who was President Rutherford Birchard Hayes' uncle, and a well known Ohio merchant. [Source]

No other info found on Scott or Hilly.

Note: Not to be confused with this S.B. Vandersall, whose first name was Stanley, of Columbus Ohio, who was State Secretary of Christian Endeavor, a religious society, in 1916:





The concept of Chop Suey Joints, as they were called, came to be as thousands of Chinese laborers came to America for the Gold Rush, then to build the railroads. After that they created ''Chinatowns" within cities all over the country, and of course opened restaurants, which were soon ''discovered'' by the rest of the population, and by the turn of the century there were 100's of 'Chop Suey joints', becoming 1,000's. There are now more Chinese restaurants in the U.S. than any other ethnic cuisine. [SourceEating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine By Andrew F. Smith, 2009]

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Note: These items are part of my ''Collecting Lima Virtual Museum''. They are not for sale.

If/when I find more information on these items, I will add it to the post.

Read the Introduction to my ''Collecting Lima'' Virtual Museum Project, all about my Lima Ohio Bottles, Advertising, Antiques collection.
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