September 21, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain County Fairgrounds morph into satellite site for restaurateurs

Holly Chalkwater, of North Ridgeville, serves ice cream to customers at the Hershey’s booth Tuesday evening. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Holly Chalkwater, of North Ridgeville, serves ice cream to customers at the Hershey’s booth Tuesday evening. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

WELLINGTON — For 52 weeks a year, local restaurateurs serve up beloved dishes in the same spot they have called home for years.

But when the Lorain County Fair is open, many find it the perfect time to take their shows on the road. Among the food vendors this week are local favorites like Midway Oh Boy, Hershey’s Ice Cream and More, Lorenzo’s Pizzeria and Rotuno’s Texas Style Barbeque.

“Believe it or not, there are some people who think we are only at the fair,” said Kim Disbrow, daughter of Oh Boy’s owners, Dave and Carole Disbrow. “We are a must-stop for a lot of people at the fair because they don’t know about our actual restaurant.”

It’s easy to make that assumption. Midway Oh Boy has been at the fair for 26 years. The family-owned and operated business is at 6620 Lake Ave. in Elyria Township.

Dave Disbrow said his signature burgers — two beef patties weighing in at a quarter pound and cooked on a flattop griddle and served with lettuce, cheese and a special mayonnaise-based sauce are so popular in the area that if he was to ever open a second restaurant, he would do it around Wellington.

“They like their Oh Boys. That’s for sure,” he said.

Disbrow said the number of burgers he sells in a week is in the thousands.

Kim Disbrow said the restaurant also stays open during the fair with many of their full-time employees working second shifts at the fair. Family and friends also help out along the midway.

Tim Rotuno, owner of Rotuno’s Texas Style Barbeque, said the fair is a great time to introduce customers to his ribs, chicken and brisket.

The restaurant has moved from its Elyria location on Oberlin-Elyria Road to a new store at 46130 Telegraph Road in Amherst. Rotuno said he moved to be closer to Oberlin, Amherst and Lorain.

“We’ve been here for five years,” he said of his time at the fair with his portable smoker. “Each year is better than the next.”

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

Check out our live social media coverage from the fair. Our comprehensive Fair coverage can be found here


  • ched

    I used to work at Midway Oh Boy in Elyria, and worked at the Lorain Co Fair every year. Nothing has changed, since 1980′s. Also Rotuno’s, moving again. Well I bet it’s because there Food has gone down hill. When they 1st opened on Abbe Rd in Elyria, they were awesome (about a year). Moved to Oberlin Rd, now in Amherst. Good Luck!