Owens OutComm Student Media

Owens OutComm Student Media

Owens OutComm Student Media

Fond Memories of Mr. Hero

Raven Weathers
Mr. Hero storefront, Manhattan Boulevard, Toledo, OH

Mr. Hero is Ohio’s very own hot sub shop. They began with a single location in Cleveland, Ohio in 1965. Today, Mr. Hero operates over 100 fast food restaurants primarily in Northeast Ohio. This story is based on my experience with the Toledo-area stores. 

Toledo has three Mr. Hero restaurants. For quite a while there was only one, located on East Manhattan Boulevard. The owners were a close-knit family and they ran the restaurant for a number of years.  

Anyone who lived in the East Manhattan Boulevard neighborhood and frequented Mr. Hero were always greeted warmly. The family operators learned the names of their customers and would complete their orders. It was a friendly establishment. I remember the quality of the food being consistently good, with appetizing menu choices. There were many other locations throughout Ohio, but were far from the size of a big chain restaurant. And although Mr. Hero was not a homegrown Toledo startup business it felt like one to me. 

Eventually, the East Manhattan Blvd Mr. Hero received a makeover. It needed a revamp for all the time it stood and the customers it served. The walls were painted, pictures were hung, and a new sign in the window could be seen from the street. Business was successful and soon enough something came along … a second Mr. Hero location! 

Toledo’s second Mr. Hero was located on Central Avenue. It was located in a part of town that was experiencing a lot of property builds and renovations. New businesses were popping up everywhere. Never in my lifetime would I have expected to see another Mr. Hero in Toledo. This was great news! With two Mr. Heroes in Toledo there was no need to drive all the way to East Manhattan Boulevard.  

Let’s flash forward in time. The Franklin Park Mall (FPM) is the only mall in Toledo. Think of the food court inside FPM. That would be a great location for a hot sub shop. Mr. Hero was able to secure a position in the food court. Since opening inside the Franklin Park Mall, the Mr. Hero in the food court has been doing very well and still remains, while other food vendors have not fared as well. 

Presently, there are three Mr. Heroes in Toledo! This is great having locations throughout the city for everyone to enjoy! That’s what I thought. But here is my reality. Mr. Hero is a small-chain restaurant. And each Toledo-area location, like those across northern Ohio: uses the same ingredients, provides the same training for employees and strives to prepare and serve the food the same way. This is not the same as Toledo’s first Mr. Hero location that was operated by a close-knit circle of people. The newer locations are adequate with their product and service. But what I realize is that my long-ago visits to the Mr. Hero East Manhattan Boulevard hot sub store made me feel good, and I will always remember it fondly. 

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