Frank Sterle, an immigrant from Ljubljana, Slovenia, founded his Slovenian Country House in 1954. With a small building on East 55th Street, a few picnic tables, and only one waitress - who had to memorize the small menu since none had been printed - Sterle managed to create a successful and lasting business. As the restaurant became well-known throughout Cleveland for its world class polka performances, Sterle decided to add onto the building until it looked much like the alpine mountain lodge that Sterle lived in when he was a young child. The building has a pitched tongue and groove ceiling. A deer head hangs over the entrance, and its walls are adorned with murals of Slovenia, giving the restaurant an atmosphere that remains distinct in Cleveland.
After Frank's death in 1986, the restaurant was taken over by Mike Longo and Margot Glinski; immigrants from Italy and Germany, respectively. Despite the change in ownership, the restaurant continues to serve traditional Slovenian dishes and has weekly polka performances and dancing. Favorite menu items remain wiener schnitzel, chicken paprikash, stuffed cabbage, klobase and sauerkraut. Among the notable artists who have performed at Sterle's are Joey Miskulin, Johnnie Vadnal, "Waltz King" Lou Trebar, and "King of Polka" Frankie Yankovic.