Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, January 15, 2012, pg. 13

The "West End" of town in the vicinity of the former Albion Malleable Iron Company certainly has lots of memories and history attached to it. There is one prominent building still standing just across the street from that demolished former factory which we will feature this week. It is the Ivanski Tavern building located at 702 N. Albion St. There has been some activity on this site recently as the building has a new owner.

Immigrants Theodore (1877-1956) and Anna (1887-1965) Ivanski came to Albion in 1926 and purchased a grocery store and lunch room at this location. The building had formerly been the grocery store of Bulgarian immigrant Michael "Nick" Martin/Martinoff during the 1910s, and the Jack Mason restaurant during the 1920s. It was known as the Ivanski Grocery from 1926 to 1933. The Ivanski's lived upstairs, which was a typical living situation of those days. They had come from the "old country" in 1907 and first lived in Kalamazoo before moving to Albion.

In 1933 when Prohibition ended, they remodeled their grocery store into a tavern to handle the 3.2 beer. Then in 1934 the building was remodeled into a full tavern with stalls, and lunchroom. Business was fueled of course by the proximity of the Albion Malleable Iron Company and Albion's large immigrant population which lived in the vicinity of the plant in company housing and in private homes.

Ivanski's Tavern was a family operation, and was run by their daughter Helen during the 1930s, then by John and Nellie from 1946 until 1962. The business was sold in 1962 to Edward Suprenant and Arlen Rockey who renamed it the Hideway Tavern. The living quarters upstairs had already become a rental apartment.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photo of the Ivanski Tavern building as it appears today. Notice the old "Mail Pouch Tobacco" advertisement faded on the side of the building. There also was a similar one on the north side. How many of our readers remember the Ivanski Tavern?

Ivanski Tavern, front view, 2012

Ivanski Tavern, side view, 2012


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