What a sad piece of news.? The Lancer Steakhouse, one of the most venerable African American businesses in Cleveland, was completely destroyed by fire early this morning. No one was injured, but there was no insurance.

The Lancer was one of the centers of African American political and social circles in Cleveland for decades.? I spent much of election night in 2008 there, and unveiled a portrait of Barack Obama across the street from the Lancer with artist Loren Naji on inauguration night.? My favorite food there was the fried Lake Erie perch….so damn good.

I hope something fills its place, the last thing Cleveland needs is another empty lot.? But like a lot of things in that part of Cleveland, when they go, they’re gone forever.

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