The best is back
by Pat Nowak
Owning a successful restaurant is always so risky. You build it up, watch it grow and gain a loyal following. Then an interesting job opportunity comes along and you decide that it would be easy to try to do both…that is the saga of Pumpernickel’s.
Dennis Lange owned a successful coffee shop in the Hamilton Building offering great homemade sandwiches and baked goods. He was encouraged by friends to “think bigger” and when a space became available in 1995 he (with help from Neighborhood in Partnership) opened a restaurant on the corner of Delaware and Collingwood and named it Pumpernickel’s.
There was no magic to the name – he saw a restaurant in Saugatuck with the title and loved it; hence the decision was easy. The restaurant flourished, often catering to people wanting lunch from downtown Toledo. Then the inevitable happened. Lange received an offer from the Board of Elections and he continued working both jobs; hiring a manager for the restaurant.
After the manager quit six months later he sold the restaurant and the purchaser continued to operate it for a few months and then turned the property into a day care. Pumpernickel’s ceased to exist. Dennis worked at several jobs and then retired from the state and decided perhaps it was time to resurrect Pumpernickel’s.
Christine Jones from Black Kite Coffee, a business neighbor of Lange’s location urged him to reopen but funding proved to be a challenge. Banks are reticent to loan to small businesses and the red tape can be insurmountable. Lange prevailed and opened for a Jiggs dinner on March 14th serving over 100 people.
He is heartened by the steady flow of local residents and customers that have returned and he hopes to expand shortly. He is putting together a crowdfunding effort to purchase a new hood and when installed will allow him to serve breakfasts on Saturdays.
He is excited about plans to host special parties, and possibly supper club events on certain nights. His dreams have come full circle and he is exhilarated by the positive reaction. Pumpernickel’s phone is 419-244-2255. He is looking forward to helping the Old West End Festival and Lucas County Fair in his free time.
Find Pumpernickel’s on
Facebook or 419-244-2255
Dennis has prepared a recipe that children can help prepare for Father’s Day –
9 – eggs
3 – cups of milk
3 -cups of grated cheese
1 -loaf of bread –
(sourdough is best)
1 – lb. sausage
(browned and drained)
Beat the eggs – add the milk and cheese. Tear the bread into pieces and mix into eggs. Add sausage. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour.