Cleveland's Black History: Ulysses S. Dearing, city's first black restaurateur and owner

Ulysses Dearing, Cleveland's first African-American restaurateur, was born in 1903 in Washington, PA, and raised by his uncle in poverty.

With very little education, he left home when he was just a young boy to work so he could help support his family.

At the age of 15, he worked in the Carnegie Steel mills. When he turned 19, Dearing became a chef in Wilkinsburg, PA.

By 21, Dearing had saved enough money to open a restaurant and hotel. But he could not enjoy the benefits of his hard work because he saw it destroyed by a flood.

He came to Cleveland in the early 1930's and worked as a short order cook until he was hired as manager of the popular Cedar Gardens night club.

Then in 1946, Dearing opened the first of his six restaurants on 105th Street. He had a catering business and opened one of Cleveland's first carry-out diners, The Carry Out.

At the time of his death, only one of his establishments remained at E. 110th and Superior Avenue.

Dearing was a lifetime member of the NAACP and the Greater Cleveland Growth Association.

He married Roberta Walker in 1936 and they had two children together.

Ulysses Dearing died in 1984.

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