Hard to Find. Impossible to Forget.

Pam’s Corner celebrates a milestone!
–by Mary Helen Darah

PUBLICATION DATE: APRIL 2017

Pam Weirauch

It has been 15 years since Pam Weirauch found the courage to change her life. “I worked in a dental office for 24.5 years as a chair-side assistant,” she recalled. “I was the lady who took x-rays, impressions and was the hand holder for the practice.” Weirauch sold the first house she had bought when she was 32 years old and ventured into the unknown world of the food industry. She is now, as she says, the “chief cook and bottle washer” at Pam’s Corner, located at 116 10th Street in downtown Toledo. “I was told I wouldn’t make it in the restaurant business past the first year, so I sold my house and moved into my friend’s guest room,” she stated. “I lived there for about three years. I had read every book I could find on restaurant ownership, and I really thought I wouldn’t make it. I paid rent to my friends, cooked for them and watched their animals.” She is still in disbelief of her actions. “I had moved to Toledo to work in a dental office,” she recounted. “I think I went through a midlife crisis. I was the girl who needed to know where my paychecks were coming from. Obviously, I have gotten over that.”

Weirauch began her culinary career at the Erie Street Market where she stayed from 2002-2006. “Erie Street Market was an incubator where you could test your business and move on. It was a good start for me,” she said. “The city decided to go in a different direction with the building, and we were forced to leave. I was out of business for almost a year. I cleaned a friend’s house, subbed in dental offices and worked part-time as a cashier at The Andersons. I found out what I was made of. During that time, I also discovered what other people are capable of. After that experience, I never ask people what I can do for them. I just do it.”

Following an extensive search and an 11-month renovation project, she found a place that is ‘Hard to find. Impossible to forget.’ “People told me that this was a stupid location,” recalled Weirauch. “Yet, I was looking for specific things when I moved. I wanted a place with built-in clientele. If there is a snowy day, I am in walking distance of the library and other local businesses and there is ample parking. Most important, there was no bad ‘juju’ in this space. I can’t believe I have been in the business for 15 years and in the Davis Building for a decade. When we first moved here, the common space was painted bright purple right before the annual holiday stroll except for one spot outside my door. I was so upset. Paula Fall, former owner of Sophia Lustig, and her staff moved Christmas trees and decorations in front of my non-painted wall. I knew at that moment that I belonged here. We have such a caring community.”

Weirauch realized that 2017 was a big milestone year worth celebrating, but she historically has a unique ‘theme’ for every year. “It varies annually,” she explained. “One year’s theme was ‘Don’t say no to things you normally say no to.’ During her “Face your Fears” year, Weirauch, a woman afraid of heights, took a hot air balloon ride. Last year was her “Accept Praise and Positives” year. “At the end of the day, I had 20 people say wonderful compliments about my cooking,” she said. “One person said there was not enough salt in my soup. What do I remember? That there wasn’t enough salt in my soup. Why do we do that? I have yet to come up with a theme for this year but then I realized it was our milestone anniversary. I want to make it a big deal. I am open to suggestions.”

Pam Weirauch shares a laugh with
13-year employee, Steve Moss.

The entrepreneur equates many things with her success. “Part of my success is my staff. It’s the part of my business that has been my most challenging as well as my biggest reward. One gentleman has been with me 13 years. Building relationships, whether it be with staff or customers, is everything. Positive ‘word of mouth’ has always sustained and moved me forward. Customers continue to make me grow. One man told me he judges a restaurant on its club sandwich. At the time, we didn’t make club sandwiches. Now we do, thanks to him, and they are a big seller,” she stated. “I like to take care of the people that have been loyal to me.”

In addition to the eat-in restaurant, Pam’s Corner also offers boxed lunches and has hosted rehearsal dinners, anniversary parties and other gatherings. “We have a whole common space available for functions,” she stated. “The biggest party we had was when a police officer retired. We had three shifts of officers come through. I really enjoy the interesting events we have held here.”

Although the event has yet to be named, Weirauch is excited to celebrate the upcoming anniversary of Pam’s Corner. The celebration will be held on May 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. She states, “We will have entertainment, appetizers and prizes to thank the community that has been so greatly supportive.”

At times Weirauch still experiences disbelief that she left a stable job and followed her dream. “Many people think that my work in the dental office vastly differs from what I do now. It’s actually very similar. I have always been good at reading body language, and I can tell when someone needs a little extra assistance. I am blessed and feel grateful for the people that choose to cross my threshold. I hope to keep on keeping on and continue this journey,” she stated. “Although we may be hard to find, after 15 years, I hope we’re impossible to forget.”