The Lancer Steakhouse  — a popular nightspot for almost five decades where notables in the black community rallied Cleveland’s first black mayor and celebrated the country’s first black president — was destroyed by fire Sunday. 

The cause of the fire is unknown. A passerby reported the blaze at 5:30 a.m. Sunday, but it had been going too long for firefighters to save the building on Carnegie at East 77th Street, Assistant Fire Chief David McNeilly said.

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