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Elmer's Story

When Elmer Keisel began looking for a name for his restaurant he initially thought of Lake Erie Grill. Deciding that it would fall into the crowd of businesses that were “Erie something,” he wanted a name that would make his business stand out. Looking at a map of shipwrecks on Lake Erie, Keisel stumbled across a piece of forgotten history, the legend of Joe Root. Intrigued from the start, Keisel did his research. Blasco Library and the Erie County Historical Society have a database combining over forty pages of history on Joe Root, “The King of the Peninsula.” Convinced that the name was a “good fit,” on July 9, 1999, Elmer Keisel opened Joe Root’s Grill. Dedicated to serving down-home cooking in an upscale atmosphere, Joe Root’s is a unique Erie dining establishment. Voted one of the best seafood restaurants in Erie for five years in a row, Keisel is proud of his restaurant and his mantra, “Great selection, Great prices, Awesome food.” And a new location hasn’t changed the wide variety of menu items or the great service. Originally opened at the head of the peninsula, the restaurant has now been moved to the corner of West 8th and Peninsula Drive. With the new location has come new customers and new curiosity about the man Joe Root. “Before I opened the restaurant I would say that 8 out of 10 people from Erie didn’t know who Joe Root was. Now, his notoriety is considerably greater,” says Keisel. Joe Root always dreamed of being a businessman, and with the soaring popularity of Joe Root’s Grill, both Elmer Keisel and the legend of Joe Root make fine additions to the Erie marketplace.