Coley’s Style

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The late Henry and Russ Cole in front of the former Coley’s Stag Bar.

Visitors are invited to raise their glass in a toast during the 17th annual Coley’s Stag Reunion Nov. 27 at its home on Canton Rd.

The reunion theme will celebrate the end of prohibition. Collectible chili bowls will carry the theme “Beer is Here.” For $12, patrons receive a refillable bowl of Coley’s infamous “hot chili” or bean soup. Sandwiches and other beverages will also be available. The reunion offers food and fellowship, memories and laughter. A live auction will begin around 8 p.m.

The reunion’s main objective is the Russel and Henry Cole Memorial Scholarship Fund. Proceeds benefit the scholarship fund. Over $72,000 in scholarships have been presented to students over the past 13 years.

According to the Dec. 7, 1933, issue of The FPS, “Prohibition died Tuesday, Dec. 5, 1933, at the age of 13 years, 10 months and 19 days.” The ratification of Amendment 21 repealing prohibition can be linked to the annual reunion.

Russel Cole purchased Coley’s Cigar Store and Pool Room in September 1930, the year he graduated from Carrollton High School. The business was a combination shoe shine and pool hall with Cole providing shoe shines. After prohibition ended, the shoeshine parlor/pool hall was replaced with a beer tavern and lunch counter and the name was changed to Coley’s Stag in 1934. Later Cole’s brother, Henry, joined the business which became known as “An institution of Higher Learning” until its closing in 1987.

Following the closing, a group of Carrollton Civic Club members and others began gathering at the former Coley’s location until 1996. The reunion moved, eventually settling in the repair shop of Ed Long Inc. on Second St.

Word of the reunion and its purpose of raising funds for scholarships spread and attendance grew each year. Jim Long, owner of Ed Long Inc., built a building on the location of Long’s Lock Up on Canton Rd. as a permanent home for the reunion.

Information on making a donation to the Russel and Henry Cole Memorial Scholarship Fund will be available at the reunion, from committee members, on the reunion’s Facebook page or at www.coleystag.com.