P & M - Adena's prevailing paradigm
Its 5:00 on a Friday and the usual P&M crowd gathers at the local Adena Pub to throw back a cold one. Beer here is $2.00 a bottle, but some patrons still remember 25 cent suds in the days of drafts. Several shoes have traveled over the original oak wood
floors to belly up to the cherry wooden bar that has been there since 1918. It was purchased from a company in Bellaire, Ohio, yet is still ornamented with wooden pillars and intricate carvings, inset with a mirror. The stacked slotted shelves were designed to hold
several bottles of liquor. P&M served countless customers. It is located as it was advertised, "just across the bridge" where it was built on Mill Street nestled near the heart of Adena.
P&M Restaurant was built in Adena in 1918. It was a confectionery with a bowling alley and a poolroom selling candy and popcicles.
In the late 20's brothers Pete and Frank Milicia purchased it and formed a partnership with their friend, Mike Stanko naming it Pete and Mike's, ergo the name P&M Restaurant.
Pete Milicia and Mike Stanko regularly managed the place while Frank fielded the finances. Keeping the poolroom, P&M became a popular soda confectionery/restaurant by day and an after hour "Speakeasy" at night. "
In the 30's people were appealing to alcohol but moreover their right to drink it so in 1933, Franklin. D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States and passed the 21st Amendment that ended national prohibition. P & M received the second liquor license
issued in Jefferson County and after prohibition, was the first saloon in Adena. At one time, it was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records of having the longest bar in Ohio.
Pete Milicia recollected, "During the early years P&M was the first bar in Adena and sold the most liquor in the state of Ohio." He said, "The place was very big and we lived in a small apartment above the bar." The restaurant retailed a variety of other
supplies such as, tobacco, gloves, flashlights, and other mining supplies. The liquor shelves were stacked at least three in a row, as opposed to today where there is only one. A barbershop was located on the other side of the big building although
it was owned by the P&M partnership.
The Milicia and Stanko families worked concurrently, consciously supporting the enterprise whether it was cooking in the kitchen, to washing the last dish. As business grew, the Milicia's monopolized their business buying two gas
stations and acquiring other property in Adena.The brothers Pete and Frank Milicia were inseparable. Frank finally built a home and settled his family on 221 Mill Street and Pete lived three doors north. The trio including the two Milicia brothers and Mike
Stanko got along particularly well with a basis of trust working all shifts to serve the people of Adena.
Mike Stanko was acclaimed as being gifted with a photographic memory. "He knew most all of the customers and in those days there were a lot of people!" Pete said of Stanko, "Mike kept the business going by never having an empty bar." Pete professed,
"If there was only one customer inside P&M, Mike would fill his glass until another customer stopped in." "He didn't believe in an empty bar, with Mike behind the bar, your glass was always full." P&M kept bar tabs and on busy days when Frank or
Pete were too occupied to pull the card to write the tab, they'd just ask Mike. Pete said poignantly, "He remembered the amount they owed, what they ordered and exactly where they were sitting." "Mike knew every automobile license number in town!" "When I'd
hand him a paper with just a license number on it, he would go directly to the customer ask that he move his car."
In the late 30's P&M was a hub, primarily because Adena had over twenty coalmines and was located in eastern Ohio's richest coal vein. As millions of tons of coal passed through the railroad yards business was booming for a bar that sold mostly to miners. Born in 1931, Pete parleyed, "I can remember passenger trains and buses carrying miners stopping right in front of the bar and workers would walk in."
From the years 1929 until the 50's there was no bank in Adena due to the stock market crash, so it was commonplace that P&M cashed thousands of dollars worth of paychecks. Most workers wouldn't leave without a drink. Since he was financier, Pete's father Frank kept $10,000.00 cash on him at all times. "That was a lot of money in those days when ice cream cost .10 cents," Pete said. "Peanuts were placed on the bar and tables free for the customers and we would go though a hundred-pound sack of peanuts a week!" P&M had a reputation of serving good food famous for their Friday fish fry.
Pete recounted a robbery, "In 1958, Mike used to park his car in a garage underneath the bar and one day Uncle Pete and Mike were kidnapped and thrown in the trunk and driven north on County Road 10 to a field then known as Liggit's farm." "The thugs
planned to push the car, owners inside the trunk, over a spoil bank but after begging for their lives they were spared." He said, "They walked back to town and reported the incident to the police but the felons were never found."
After prohibition, P&M was cited for a liquor law infraction, and the occurrence was due to Adena city council's report to the state. Council closed the doors on the business taping the doors shut for two weeks so the time was used to renovate, primarily painting.
Tony Bedway, formerly of Adena painted a mural on the mirror behind the bar. It was a fishing scene entitled, "Even a fish doesn't get caught if he keeps his mouth shut." Many patrons remember the mural that was regarded as retaliatory witticism.
During the war, several bars including P & M sold draft beer with a low alcohol content. Pete reported, "The two biggest days in the bar were when Adena played Cadiz on Armistice (Veteran's) Day and Dillonvale, on Thanksgiving Day." On
those two November days, about 3000 people attended the high school home field called, "The Pit", which is located in the backyard of the bar. After the game, Pete proclaimed, "The place was packed inside and out." Adena High School and Buckeye West
High School alumni remember lunching there throughout the years.
Pete Milicia, named after his Uncle Pete and the son of Frank Milicia, greets customers outside then enters the bar requesting to see the proprietor. Many regular customers are surprised to see him and others appear as if they’ve seen a ghost. He shares a story as
he sits at the bar drinking a beer, so begins the history of P&M.
L-R Pete Milicia with nephew Pete Milicia and Mike Stanko
In the late 30’s P&M was a hub, primarily because Adena had over twenty coalmines and was located in eastern Ohio’s richest coal vein. As millions of tons of coal passed through the railroad yards business was booming for a bar that sold mostly to miners. Born in 1931, Pete parleyed, "I can remember passenger trains and buses carrying miners stopping right in front of the bar and workers would walk in."
From the years 1929 until the 50’s there was no bank in Adena, so it was commonplace that P&M cashed thousands of dollars worth of paychecks. Most workers wouldn’t leave without a drink. Since he was financier, Pete’s father Frank kept $10,000.00 cash on him at all times. "That was a lot of money in those days when ice cream cost .10 cents," Pete said. "Peanuts were placed on the bar and tables free for the customers and we would go though a hundred-pound sack of peanuts a week!" P&M had a reputation of serving good food famous for their Friday fish fry.
Adenian Kent Holland bought P&M in 1981 continuing business with the same name. The coal mines were vastly diminishing and he operated it until 1984. Still serving miners, Kent was the first owner to have local bands on weekends. Holland referred to
P&M as a "miner man’s bar." He organized a united mineworker’s rally hosting UMW President, Richard L. Trumpka.
|Years later, other taverns popped up in Adena and they were,
The American Legion, the KofC bowling alley, The Happy Go Lucky (Bloody Bucket), Koulaguski's Polish Inn, Dew Drop Inn, Mario's Pasadena Inn, Bridge Street
Café, Railroad Inn, Bennie's Tavern (Terry's Bar), Bozicevich Inn on Blairmont road, and The Dixie Moon in Harrisville. Only three of them remain in Adena today and
they are Terry’s Bar, the American Legion and P&M.
Pete graduated from AHS in 1949 and in 1950 he entered Xavier University in Cincinnati. He holds the AHS football record for longest single yard run of 100 yards. He was drafted in the Korean War and was sent to Germany for two years. In 1957, he returned to Adena and to P&M.
Pete continued to help out with the partnership of P&M and married Evelyn Paris of Smithfield, Ohio and in 1962. In 1965 P&M sold their business to Chester
George & LuAnn Hopkins bought P&M Restaurant from Kent Holland until George's passing. George served in the U.S. Army artillery in Vietnam, so the bar was often regarded by locals as "Cannonball's."
Amy Hopkins, daughter of LuAnn and George "Cannonball" Hopkins own P&M Restaurant today. LuAnn shared a story; "An elderly lady stops by now and then, saying that when she was young, her parents forbid her to go into P&M, so every time
she passes by, she stops in to visit." She said several people still stop to commiserate especially during Heritage Day.
The Adena Heritage Day committee chose P&M as their historical landmark photo for the 2008 commemorative cups and crocks. The former name Pete and Mikes, or P & M is now familiarly known as Cannonball's P & M Pub and Restaurant.
In 1965, Pete opened Grange Insurance, with the help of his friend, Andrew Yanok. He was the last insurance agent to be issued a license in the area and didn’t have one client when he began his business. Pete has two sisters, Angeline Tose and Patrina Agriesti. His cousins of Uncle Pete are Angeline Dorsey Russo, of El Paso, Texas, and Connie Brightbill of San Francisco, California. Pete and Evelyn Milicia reside in Wintersville and have three children, Angela Jackson from Columbus, Ohio, Theresa Viettmeir, of Wauseon Ohio, and son Frank Milicia who travels Europe with the Air Corps band and lives at Travis Air Force Base in California.
The P&M, name remains the same though it has passed through three proprietorships since it originated. In reply of how he feels about Adena today, Pete Milicia smiled and said, "You can take the boy out of Adena but you can’t take Adena out of the boy."