2313 East 55th Street

This Queen Anne-styled building at 2313 East 55th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, was not only a residence but home to several businesses and murders.

This Queen Anne-styled building at 2313 East 55th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, was not only a residence but home to several businesses and murders.

Friendship Baptist Church Pastorium

In the 1950s and 1960s, 2313 East 55th was the headquarters of the Burden Syrup Company, founded by Everett Burden in 1935. 3 The company manufactured Dalo fruit drinks and Burden syrups 4 8 before being sold to the Ashley Distributing Company in 1976.

The storefront later housed the Shrimp Boat, a barbecue and seafood fast-food restaurant that opened around 1967. Its location was in a neighborhood that was in steep decline both demographically and economically. The corner of Central and East 55th, the area was known more for its drugs and shootings than for its cuisine.

On September 8, 1970, Robert L. Weakley was shot by a security guard at the Shrimp Boat after Weakley had threatened to kill the guard in an attempted robbery. 1 The guard was questioned and released as the shooting was ruled justified.

In another murder, Derrick Evans, 16, shot Angus Berry, 18, after an attempted robbery on January 20, 1975. 2 Evans had confronted Berry and two others who were on their way to East Tech High School that morning and ordered them to put any money into their coat pockets and to remove their coats. After Berry motioned with his hands, Evans shot him with a .25-caliber automatic pistol. Evans had earlier robbed a poor woman of a coat and food stamps. He was convicted of murder in a trial that concluded on June 7 and was sentenced to 15 years to life. In addition, he received four to 25 years for the aggravated robbery.

2313 East 55th St Cleveland Ohio
A January 22, 1975, photograph by Tony Tomsic, sourced from Cleveland State University’s Michael Schwartz Library Special Collections.

Finally, on May 7, 1983, two-time killer J.D. Scott, 34, shot and killed Alexander Ralph Jones, 44, a security guard at the Shrimp Boat. 5 Scott had been sentenced to death in 1984 for the May 6, 1983, killing of an elderly store owner at a delicatessen. The murder of Jones only added a second death sentence. 6 On appeal in 2001, his sentence was reduced to life with parole after 30 years imprisonment due to his diagnosis as a schizophrenic. 7 He was executed on June 14, 2001.

The property was sold to Paul Arnold in February 1983 and was foreclosed in October 2009. The lot sold at a sheriff’s sale in April 2010.

  1. “Killing of Youth Held Justifiable.” Plain Dealer [Cleveland] 10 Sept. 1970: 1E. Print.
  2. “Youth pleads guilty, sentenced in murder of teen, robbery.” Plain Dealer [Cleveland] 7 June 1975: 10C. Print.
  3. “Everett Burden.” Plain Dealer [Cleveland] 13 July 1969: 4Z. Print.
  4. “Hattie Wilson Burden, helped husband start punch, syrup firm.” Plain Dealer [Cleveland] 20 June 1980: 9C. Print.
  5. Sullivan, Elizabeth. “Murderer Scott pleads for life.” Plain Dealer [Cleveland] 9 Oct. 1986: 8B. Print.
  6. Sullivan, Elizabeth. “Killer Scott is Sentenced to chair again.” Plain Dealer [Cleveland] 25 Oct. 1986: B1. Print.
  7. Delfino, Michelangelo, and Mary E. Day. “Jay Williams Scott.” Death Penalty USA: 2001 – 2002. Tampa, FL: MoBeta, 2009. 131-34. Print.
  8. “Manufacturer Makes Fruit Drinks.” Jet 29 May 1952: 54. Print.


Add Yours →

How is your project coming? I no longer live in Cleveland, having left in 1965. I used to go the Shrimp Boat in the early 60’s. It was a black neighborhood and black business then but it was reasonably safe in the daylight. They had the best po’boy sandwiches I’ve ever had. Things must have gone downhill very fast since they didn’t have security guards back then. You’re very brave to attempt this, and the Queen Anne would be a beautiful home when it’s restored. I live in a house built in 1895 and I know what a money pit older houses can be. I hope you found financing and you’re still at it.

Regards, Jim

I loved the shrimp boat in the early sixties it was the best foot long and shoulder sandwiches in the world.

Thank you for the interest in the house. We are looking for money to really get the project started.

If you ever drive by and see us working there, we would love to show you around. This way, when she is finished you can say you saw the before and after.



I also drive by almost constantly, as I work off of East 55th and Chester. I just thought I would drop a line since no comments have been made for the past 5 months or so. I’ve never seen any activity around this building, at least any that would lead me to believe that there could be new life within it’s walls, it looks just like any of the other abandoned buildings up and down East 55th, no offense. But I’d really love to have a look inside one day, if this project is still in effect.

Thanks and good luck!
signed, your local history nut


First I plan on restoring her to her original beauty. After that the possibilities are endless.

I was not familiar with the area or her history until last year when I first laid eyes on the “Queen”. But believe me, it was love at first sight.

It will take long hours and much monies, but please, if you are ever in the neighborhood, and you see work going on, stop by and say “Hi”, she loves the attention.

Thanks for your interest.


this is truly amazing ,on Facebook the other day a friend of mine asked where was your first fast food experience ,after a moment I recalled the shrimp boat this was around 1960 after that the restaurant branched out new building on the northwest corner of e.55and central e.124 and superior lee rd. And euclid and e.131and kinsman. But nothing stirred my memory like the 1st. location l went looking on the net for pictures which brought me to your website what are you planning to do with this piece of black history

To All the Neighbors of the “Queen” on 55th Street,

I would like to thank you for all the support you have shown during the clean up process.

The gentlemen working on the project have been reporting all of your well wishes. Also, your happiness in seeing the property being brought back to life.

I hope to have time in the near future to be on the jobsite and thank all of you personally. Please keep the project in your prayers. She (The Queen) needs a lot of work and more money to be completed.

Again, thanks to all of you for all the good wishes.


Oh my goodness! I went to East Tech and graduated in 1997. I have never seen this building as a functional structure so I am thrilled to see this structure in use. I am keeping my eyes open, since I live in the area. My family is located in the Kinsman/Mount Pleasant area, and we use East 55 at least twice a week! I can’t wait!


Thank you so much for your interest in the “Queen” as we call her.

It is so nice to hear positive feedback regarding the building. I think people thought we were nuts when we purchased her. They couldn’t see what I saw, the first time I saw her. It was the dead of winter, I was asked to drive downtown to look a the store front to see if it would be viable business space. When I reached the address and got out of the car, my fiancé asked “well what do you think” and all I could reply was “she is magnificent, how much do they want?, and can we buy her right now”. And that’s what we did.

The most amazing thing to me is, no one ever saw the house.

In order to complete the project it is going to take a lot of money, but we are willing to sacrifice to get it done.

I would love to give you a tour of “Her Majesty” when she is completed. Please stop by.

Thank you again.


Dear Cherie, WOW! The “queen”” is a real gem. I’ve loved it from afar for years. Thank you for loving her! She is well worth it. The fresh look at 55th and St. Clair (Sterle’s, the bank, the fire station and library) will lift the entire area to new heights not seen in years! Congrats! Rick J.

Dear Rick, I was so glad to get your comments on the “Queen”. Yes she is a diamond in the rough. But in due time and ALOT of money she will stand as regal as the day she was built. I agree, when She is finished she will enhance the entire neighborhood. People will come from all over just to see Her. I will keep you posted on her progress. Work is slow now, but hopefully by next year there will be noticeable improvements made to Her. When work resumes, please stop by and see her. She will welcome the attention after all these years.


Thank you for your comment. I am so happy that you had such fond memories. Most people have nothing but bad memories regarding the old building.

I am looking forward to restoring the building and can’t wait for you to revisit her and meet you in person.


I use to live right across the street in the 70s. What memories. I loved eating at the shrimp boat as a young girl. Looking forward to revisiting. Good luck

Mr. Cahal,

Thank you for responding to my comment.

Of course I would love to have you tour the inside of the Queen (that’s her nick-name), because I think, when she is completed, she will be the Queen of 55th Street.

I haven’t really investigated the inside completely, yet. As soon as the weather warms up, I plan on going through every nook and cranny.

Again, I am anxiously waiting to hear from you,


Dear Mr. Cahal,

My fiancé has just purchased the abandoned property at 2311/2313 East 55th Street, Cleveland, OH 44104.

I located your picture online and thought I would contact you to see if you had any additional pictures.

Also, we have decided to renovate the space. Our dream is to bring it back to original. I thought maybe you would like to photograph her during her renovation.

Please contact me with any additional pictures you may have.

Thank you,


Hello Mr. Cahal,
I am related to the Burden family and I am doing research on Everet Burden. If you have any contact information for the family, can you or maybe pass my contact information on to the Burden family?

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