In 1954, Frank Sterle, an immigrant from Ljubljana, Slovenia, founded his Slovenian Country House with a small building on East 55th Street, a few picnic tables, and only one waitress — who had to memorize the small menu since none had been printed, featuring traditional fare including wiener schnitzel, chicken paprikash, stuffed cabbage, sausage and sauerkraut.
Sterle managed to create Cleveland Landmark known for not only great food, but world-class polka performances, featuring notable artists such as Joey Miskulin, Johnny Vadnal, “Waltz King” Lou Trebar and “King of Polka” Frankie Yankovic.
After Frank’s death in 1986, the restaurant was taken over by Mike Longo and Margot Glinski, both immigrants — from Italy and Germany, respectively. Under their ownership, Sterles remained a success. After 25 years and the Mike’s passing, Margot entered into retirement to spend some well deserved time with her grandchildren.
In 2012, Rick Semersky purchased Sterles to keep alive that Cleveland landmark, one of the many examples of what makes Cleveland, Cleveland.
It continues to uphold the history and traditions that make Sterles great while ensuring it longevity for another 60 years. With a modern take on schnitzel, great bands and a large selection of craft brews, Sterle’s continues to be the landmark that it is while also becoming a favorite for a new generation of Clevelanders.