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Marv's Place
37143 Muskingum Street,
Sardis, Ohio 43946

(740) 483-9999

Restaurant Hours
10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Mon.-Sat.
11:30 AM to 8:00 PM Sunday
Or Call (740) 483-9999

About Us!

This historical building was built in 1894 and has been a department store, shirt factory, and assembly point for Model A Fords, casket factory, apartment building, and poolroom among other things. Sardis resident J.O.K. Hubbard erected it for Sardis businessman George Case. The hand-cut sandstone and brick foundation, along with the native poplar clapboards and 2 X 5 framing timbers, all were constructed strictly by hand labor. Now all the poplar has been timbered out and 2X5’s are impossible to find. The elaborate storefront of the 60-by-40 foot, 30-foot-tall structure featured medallions, rosettes, dentils, colored glass above six large display windows, and other ornaments of the Victorian era. All have been carefully restored. Case put a department store on the first floor, boasting that it sold “everything from a tack to a steam engine.” On the second floor, women operated sewing machines to make “Case shirts—they have long tails!” This was back when gentlemen did not leave their shirttails hanging out. The beautiful counter where you order ice cream, with its alternating walnut-and-pine countertop, is original to the building.

In about 1906 a worker shut down a gas motor in the basement, which drove the belts to run the sewing machines, to take a lunch break. Upon his return he lit a match to restart the motor. The resulting explosion blew the lower east wall off the building in one piece. There were no serious injuries and the wall was reattached, but the buildings post-explosion lean to the west was not fully corrected until 1999 during our renovation. The building housed a bar, blacksmith shop, Movie Theater, and other ventures when Marvin and Ethel Merriner rented it in the 1940’s. Marvin was a West Virginia hillbilly who had run away from home to join the circus, literally. He became a railroad engineer but an accident in the 1920’s left him partly crippled. Refusing a railroad office job as “charity”, to make a living he opened an ice cream parlor and grill in the small white building two doors east on Mound Street that now serves as the Lee Township office. After setting up business anew in the Case building, Marvin and Ethel bought it in 1947. They ran a grocery on the east side and a poolroom with three maple-and-slate tables on the west. Marvin also built apartments on the second floor, renting them for $12 a month. There was no running water—tenants carried water upstairs from the town pump and visited an outhouse behind the building. (Lumber from that outhouse is incorporated in the renovation, but we won’t say where.) The grocery and poolroom—the “Dew Drop Inn”—was the town gathering place. Kids stopped by Marv’s on the way to and from school for pop and candy. Chances are, the people at the next table can tell you stories about bygone years at Marv’s. In those times there was still something of a barter economy in post-depression Appalachia and Marv and Ethel sometimes took payments in the form of chicken, eggs, hams, or hay. When Marvin died in 1964 the building was inherited by his son Charles. As a college dean in South Carolina, Charles built an apartment in the back of the first floor for him and his wife Irene to stay during the summers in Sardis. Charles later spent his final working years with the Monroe county school system and lived here for a time during retirement. After Charles died in 1998, Sardis residents pleaded with his adult children not to tear the building down, as Sardis would lose something irreplaceable. So they decided to restore the building and open a business in honor of their father and grandfather. “Marv’s Place” is an acronym for Marvin’s Aging Relatives Venture. Marvin used to say, upon confronting a construction project: “Figure up all the labor and materials you could possibly need. Cost them down to the penny. And then just double it.” Unfortunately, his relatives did not take that wise motto fully to heart.

Stop by and see the local pictures and unique atmosphere!

Thank You for stopping by!