are rife that once upon a time, during the infamous prohibition
fiasco, White Oaks augmented its celebrated cuisine by dispensing
forbidden spirits. Not the bath-tub gin and needled beer
variety that were rampant, mind you, but the authentic wares of
distillers in Canada, Scotland, and France. In addition
to this brazen liquor transgression, some hardy survivors of that
era whisper that high-stakes gambling supplemented the whole ticklish
In frank answer to these vicious innuendoes, the plain unadulterated
truth is that this doyen of restaurants was guilty as implied
on all counts.
White Oaks opened its doors in 1928 and it became the
place to be seen in almost immediately. The larder
was always chock a-block and it was presided over by master practitioners
of the epicurean art. The booze was ferried in from Canada
nightly and it flowed copiously from dusk to dawn. These
two necessities of the good life were further enhanced by grand-scale
wagering, and it was within this sybaritic ambiance that captains
of the industry, political hacks, denizens of the underworld,
and sports and entertainment luminaries, mingled and rubbed congenial
short, those were clandestine, but oh so tempting, times. The
roster of White Oaks' patrons read like a Cleveland "Who's Who,"
and the proud names therein were frequently upstaged by a parade
of national and international personalities. All who came
sought solace, and all who entered accepted the humbling experience
of being surveyed at the peep-hole entry.
For those who seek at least a modicum of documentation, take a
quick peek at the existing door of the men's lounge. It,
as its plaque indicates, was the original entrance to this long-ago
oasis where parched, and the famished, and the jaded, once cavorted
in carefree abandon.
The final truth is that today White Oaks continually strives to
retain the fascinating mystique that has haunted it since it surrendered
its youth some sixty years ago. Toward that end, only you
can measure the success or failure of our efforts and we do cordially
welcome your verdict.
"Bon appetit, " from the staff and management
of White Oaks Top