Interviews in this series were collected by students and staff at Cleveland State University’s Center for Public History and Digital Humanities during the ten year anniversary celebration at Prosperity Social Club in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. The event featured a gathering of the Dembowski family, who ran Dempsey’s Oasis – a neighborhood pub at 1109 Starkweather Avenue that later became Prosperity Social Club – from 1938-2000. The series includes interviews with members of the Dembowski family; Bonnie Flinner, the owner of Prosperity Social Club; and a number of customers and attendees from the neighborhood.
Bonnie Flinner talks about her acquisition of the pub in 2005, her growing relationship with the Dembowski family and the Tremont neighborhood, and what she’s learned (and come to love) about managing a restaurant.
Richard and Theresa Dembowski (son and daughter in law of Stanley Dembowski) talk about Stanley’s acquisition of Hot Dog Bill’s in 1938, how the name “Dempsey’s Oasis” came about, the pub’s early days, and their experiences before and after talking over the restaurant when Stanley retired in 1967.
See also attached document: Richard Dembowski. "Our Family Tremont History," October 2015.
Tremont resident Patti Choby describes changes to the neighborhood she witnessed over the last decade, and the importance of Prosperity Social Club as a local landmark.
Jim Duncan recounts his youth growing up in the Tremont projects, the changes he has witnessed in the neighborhood over the past half century, and working as a shoe shine at Dempsey's Oasis.
Erich Hooper is the owner of Hooper Farm, a neighborhood garden that works with the youth of the area. Mr Hooper has lived in Tremont since 1966 and discusses the early days of the neighborhood, and the changes that have occurred there.