Many of us remember the old Schmidlin Hardware Store at 4729 Vine Street, the approximate location of today’s Chili Time Restaurant.  Schmidlin Hardware, however, was previously located farther south on Vine Street at the present address of LaRosa’s Pizzeria.  There, they sold a variety of goods that ranged from paint to vacuum cleaners.

The son of German parents, Frank Joseph Schmidlin, Sr. had been in the hardware business since at least 1910, a census year, when he was listed as a hardware salesman.  “Proprietor” was his title by the next census year, 1920. 

His hardware store was a short walking distance from his residence on Church Street, and it is thought that he operated the business at the 4601 Vine Street location until his death, in 1937.  At that time, his sons, Frank, Jr. and Joe, inherited the business, as verified by the 1940 census, which listed them as hardware salesmen.  While under their ownership, the store was moved to 4729 Vine Street, and advertisements suggest that they operated at that location from at least the late 1940’s.

Schmidlin, 1st Store - Copy.jpg
Schmidlin, 2nd Store - Copy.jpg

Following Frank, Jr.’s death in 1960, the business continued under Joe’s ownership until 1980, last year of advertisement in The Cincinnati Enquirer for Schmidlin Hardware. Buildings along that block of Vine Street were demolished as part of urban renewal.  By 1986, three years before Joe’s death, Chili Time Restaurant, operated by the Vidas family, had moved from their original location across the street to their newly built structure.

Kay Heller Phillips

Sources:  www.ancestry.com; The Cincinnati Enquirer, 04 May 1947, p. 60; The Cincinnati Enquirer, 15 May 1980, p. 70; St. Joseph Cemetery Burial Record, 1937; Ohio Death Record, 1938-2007; SS Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007; Phone Interview, with Arlene Flannery Fay, 10 Nov 2017; Photos:  St. Bernard-Ludlow Grove Historical Society files; LaRosa photo by KHP.