Even though the Hamilton County recorder’s office states that this building was constructed in 1910, the Williams’ Hamilton County Directory of 1905 listed John Kneidl, Jr. as operator of a saloon, restaurant and summer garden at the 500 E. Ross Avenue location. The directory further noted Kneidl’s new pavilion and dancing hall, where “special attention is given to wedding parties.” It was John and his brother Max who were the proprietors. This building served as one of the many St. Bernard saloons and as an upstairs residence for the Kneidl family.
In an interview with St. Bernard resident Fred Steigleman, he recalled that Kellerman’s Saloon was across the street on the corner of E. Ross and Greenlee, and that they also featured a dance hall for weddings and parties. There seemed to be competition between the two saloon owners. In addition to Kellerman’s son, who sang opera, his saloon also had an “oom pah pah” German band to entertain the customers. On the other hand, Max Kneidl was a violinist and had an orchestra at his establishment. He stood outside and tried to lure customers away from Kellerman’s with a wave of his handkerchief. This was especially true on days of funerals. After leaving the cemetery, many people, especially those living outside of St. Bernard, would stop at either Kneidl’s or Kellerman’s before making the long trip home.
Max Kneidl wanted those customers, but his attempt at luring them away from Kellerman’s backfired. The customers became curious about Kellerman’s and went there instead. This resulted in lost business for Kneidl’s.
Consequently, Kneidl’s Saloon was very short lived. By 1910, Max Kneidl was no longer living at the 500 E. Ross Avenue address and was employed elsewhere as a painter. No census record was found for his brother John, but by 1912, John A. Goldschmidt and family had moved to St. Bernard to operate a grocery and meat market at the location.
Sometime after 1920, the Goldschmidts relocated the store to another area of St. Bernard. Other businesses at this location included Roettele’s and National Awning and Builders Supply, although Dj’s Image II presently operates there today. KHP
Source: St. Bernard, Ohio 1878-1978, p. 95 and 172; 1905 Williams’ Hamilton County City Directory; www.ancestry.com; Goldschmidt history from History Room archives; Fred Steigleman Interview with Marge Niesen (date unknown).
Photos: History Room archives; Kneidl token from Raymond von Wahlde; Goldschmidt photo from www.ancestry.com.