Maplewood History: Ted’s Corner to Toasty Subs

If you’re like me and get more emails than you can possibly read, then I want to say in this first sentence if you haven’t eaten yet at Toasty Subs, you need to get over there.  I don’t know how unusual it is but the menu includes toasty subs and sushi.  This suits my wife and I just fine.  On our recent visits the food has been excellent.  You can find the menu online very easily.  In this post I’d like to tell you about the location.

It is bordered on the Flora Avenue side by one of our many landmark stone walls.  I wonder where the stone in this one came from because it is not the typical white limestone that is found in nearly all of our other stonework.  Additionally it looks to me like the mason/s inserted decorative rocks (I’ll call them that because I haven’t any idea what their real name is) every so often to either make the wall more interesting or perhaps just to use them up.

This wall once separated a parking lot from the street behind a neighborhood bar and grill called Ted’s Corner.  An article from April 1955 in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch identifies the owner of Ted’s corner as Ted Lazarcheff.   The article goes on to say that Ted owned this famous eating spot in the Thirties and then later developed it into Ted’s Motors which sold DeSoto and Plymouth automobiles.  The article lacks a bit in accuracy.  Apparently, judging from some of the photographs and another article, he owned both of those businesses at the same time.  Ted’s Motors was located at 7486 Manchester which was directly across the street from the City Hall at 7483 Manchester.

Ted must have used his Maplewood businesses as a springboard that allowed him to make the leap from his hot grill to become a red hot developer of subdivisions.  In 1955, he was planning a subdivision seven miles east of St. Louis in Centerville, IL.  In February 1959, he posted an advertisement that his company had built five subdivisions, over 700 homes and with 2,000 more in the planning stages!  Way to go, Ted!

I know nothing about Ted’s life other than what I could glean from these articles and advertisements.  It appears that he was wildly successful.  He left for whatever comes next on June 16, 1978.  His funeral was (where else?) at Jay B. Smith’s here in Maplewood.

The building that once held Ted’s Corner was most likely lost to the widening of Big Bend. I think this happened in the early 60’s. Reader NW Berra, commenting in a previous post, dated this photo and the next at 1949. He also identified the photographer as Ray Gehl.  The buildings seen at right still exist.  The one behind the Flora sign belongs to our good friends at Frame of Mind picture framing.  At left only part of one of the stone pillars can be seen.

Much more of the stone wall can be seen in this image. NWBerra identifies the car as a 1940 Chevrolet.  A reader determined in a previous post that the home on the right must have been demolished to provide parking for what is now Claude’s Auto Repair, a longtime fixture in Maplewood.

The stone wall as it looks today (make that yesterday) bordering Flora Avenue.

Lily Li, genial proprietress of Toasty Subs. Stop in and try some of her handiwork. You’ll be back.

Ted of Ted’s Corner fame from a 1959 advertisement in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

From the same ad. Look at those numbers. Parkfield Builders is his company. All of those subdivisions are his.   According to an earlier article in the PD, he just started four or five years earlier!

And then one year later, in 1960, he posts this advertisement. The warning signs are there. Just look at the photo. Notice too the new name for his developments-Tedland. I’m afraid it’s happened. He’s gotten cocky. Oh well. He deserved it.

I rearranged this matchbook cover a bit with Photoshop so it would all be right side up for you.  I don’t know who Bud and Ernie are.  That invitation to meet them is on several of the images of these Ted’s Corner matchbook covers.  Perhaps they were bartenders or they could just be a metaphorical Bud and Ernie as in insert your own friends names here.  We’ll never know. Unless one of Bud’s or Ernie’s children see this post.  That would be cool.  Much thanks to Gene Kitson for allowing me to photograph all of his vintage Maplewood matchbook covers.

 

9 thoughts on “Maplewood History: Ted’s Corner to Toasty Subs

  1. Always enjoy reading about the history of our town, thank you! Anyone remember the name of the restaurant that went into the bar after Ted left? My mother remembers it as an Italian name, possibly beginning with the letter “F”. My parents married in January of 1958 at Immaculate Conception and had a breakfast at the restaurant after the Mass.

  2. Thumbs up for Toasty Subs! I agree that their food is good & the owners are very kind people. Hope they will do well. Also, thank you for giving them some recognition in the 40 South News.

  3. Great Pictures! Looks like Ted’s Corner was demolished some time ago and the lot now serves as parking space for Mirelli Tuckpointing and the Auto Zone. I believe Mirelli’s residence is the house adjacent to the lot. Interesting that the nondescript building across the street survived while the more architecturally significant stuctures (Ted’s Corner) were demolished.

  4. There was also a small ice cream shop on the north end of Ted’s Corner. There was a doorway between the tavern and ice cream shop. I grew up on Flora between Big Bend and Sutton from 1944-1962 when I joined the Army.
    I loved the Maplewood that I grew up in. When I returned from the Army, we bought a house on Rannells near Laclede Stn Rd and lived there until 78. We survived the mad apartment house on every corner. Glad to see the town awake again.

  5. I love Toasty Subs! The big bowls of artisanal ramen are great too. It’s nice to be able to get Japanese food close to home even at lunchtime, and if someone in the party is nervous about trying something new, they can always have a nice sub. The bubble tea is also tasty.

    • I agree, Mantelli. The food is really tasty and reasonably priced. Plus the folks inside running things are absolutely first rate.

  6. Doug, that is pretty interesting about the corner. I thought it was almost too small for most things but have to remember that when Ted’s corner first went in it was probably a walk to place for the neighborhood.

    But your mention of matchbooks made me wonder if you could just post some more of them. That alone might tell us more about the businesses that used to be here. I am not a smoker but I have to wonder if any businesses have the jar of matchbooks that you could grab on your way in our out of the business. I cannot tell you how many I have grabbed over the years to have to start my grill or propane torch. I am guessing that like buggy whips this is an industry that is probably defunct or almost defunct.

    • Hi Mark, You are correct. There is not a lot of room on that corner. Less now than in the past what with the widening of Big Bend. When Ted’s Corner was thriving I would imagine that it was a walk to place as you suggest but many of his customers certainly arrived by streetcar. They could probably exit and enter the streetcars just about right in front of his business.

      As for the matchbooks, I will plan on posting more of them in the future. I never realized that matchbook cover collectors existed until Gene Kitson contacted me when we put out the first call for material for our community history book. He asked me if I had any Maplewood matchbook covers. I said no and he said I do. I was reluctant to take his book of them but he insisted that I borrow it. It was the surest way to add to his collection in the future he explained. Several years ago someone told me he had passed away. He was a nice trusting fellow.