The Press Box

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Spudnut
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2004/06/22 17:03:36 (permalink)

The Press Box

I'll quite possibly be the only person here who knows or cares about The Press Box restaurant in Niagara Falls, NY, but it's a true roadfood place. It's been closed for tax reasons, but with luck that'll be temporary. You'll probably agree with me if you read the following, from a local paper:

The Press Box got its name, naturally, from its proximity to the Niagara Gazette.

Back when 310 Niagara St. housed more than a demoralized skeleton crew, reporters, editors and printers regularly stopped by for lunch during their shifts, a cold libation after work, or a cold libation during their shifts.

As last call started coming earlier and earlier, though, it got crossed off the list of late-night destinations for staffers looking to unwind. Still, at least one veteran reporter and editor maintained a time-honored tradition of taking colleagues to The Press Box and its owner Flo for a Pittsburger (an immense bacon cheeseburger, for those who have never had the pleasure).

The place has always been as full of endearing quirks as its proprietress, from the hundreds of dollars in various currency signed and taped to the walls by visitors from around the world to the disturbingly large salad to the unique method of ordering a meal -- wandering into the kitchen and writing down your order.

As The Other Paper's staff shrank, though, so did its presence at The Press Box. The Niagara Falls Reporter has done its best to pick up the slack in its four years of existence. For her part, Flo has provided a steady stream of memorable quotes and local color to staffers of this newspaper, as well as reporters from publications ranging from The New York Times to the Baltimore Sun.

As gruff as Flo can be, she treats her regular customers like family. For years, she's been putting out downtown's premiere Thanksgiving Dinner spread. She also takes the time to do things like having a newspaper article about the birth of one customer's son laminated for posterity's sake.

Last week, Acotto said she has a buyer who will pay off her tax bill and allow her to reopen, at least temporarily, until the new owner takes over.

Hopefully, Flo will get the chance to finish her Niagara Street run of nearly half a century in style, instead of the ignominious way the state apparently had in mind.

#1

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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/06/22 17:48:23 (permalink)
    Here in Columbus the place was State & Fourth, near the Columbus Dispatch building. For years the building was the home of the Dispatch, the Columbus Citizen-Journal and The Associated Press bureau. I worked for AP.

    George and Sam Harachis ran the place, and it was truly a delight, only in that you could really hide inside when some editor was looking for you. The food was less than grand, but it was cheap. One of the most interesting sandwiches was something called a Yummy Boy. I had one once, but I had to have several rounds of shots and beer before I ordered it.

    State & Fourth was a terrific place to get quotes for stories. I remember going over to the bar when the Vietnam pullout was announced to get reaction. It made for a good national story.

    Down in Cincinnati there was a place called The Cricket. It was a terrific bar on the ground floor of the Enquirer building. Dark, quiet, and a good spot to talk about how screwed up the paper was. I guess it's still there, but I haven't been there since the mid '70s.

    State & Fourth is a parking lot now.
    #2
    ocdreamr
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/06/22 18:40:32 (permalink)
    I can't remember the name, if it ever had one, but I remember such a place in downtown Baltimore. It was across the street from my Father's office on South Street, right at the inner harbor (not todays tourist area but the working harbor of the 60's, 1968 to be precise) it sat next to the News American Building. I worked for my father the summer between my senior year of high school & college. It was at this greasy spoon that I was introduced to a kosher hot dog wrapped in bologna & then deep fried! It was served on a kaiser like hot dog roll, I have spent much time searching for one like it since. For a dollar or so you got a plate full of lasagne, my father's favorite. To an eighteen year old from the suburbs the place was extremely exotic. The pressmen would be there in their newpaper hats & the tugboat men from the nearby docks. Sadly as the newpaper world changes these type of places are disappearing.
    #3
    Michael Stern
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/06/22 19:40:04 (permalink)
    Now there is a great subgenre of Roadfood restaurants: where reporters eat. Can't help but mention the Billy Goat Tavern in that respect -- a favorite of Mike Royko and reporters from the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune long before it was known for cheezeborgers.

    #4
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/06/23 12:02:00 (permalink)
    Another great spot right near the New Haven Register and the New Haven Journal Courier was the Arena Grille. Many's the drink picked up on deadlines and after a paper was put to bed with the blessings of original owner Joe Small and later Billy Calamita and Billy Sandella. Ah, the Thursday corned beef and cabbage and the Wednesday lasagna.

    It was a place where great news decisions were made, and where last night's hockey-basketball-football-baseball game was replayed over and over again.
    #5
    Spudnut
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/07/19 14:29:28 (permalink)
    I thought I'd provide a sad, yet probably inevitable, post-script to this thread -- just for the record.

    The Press Box was officially shut down last week. Again, I suspect few people on this list had ever heard of it. Maybe I was the only one. But, the place was special and in many ways an embodiment of the kind of places we talk about here. Unfortunately, I hadn't been there in at least six or seven years, because I no longer live in the area.

    Two memories that came back to me recently: one, when I was there with my folks and a kitchen worker walked through the restaurant with a huge, over-flowing garbage can, which he essentially carried over right over our heads, through the dining room, on route outside. And, two, when we were a chair short at our table, and the owner off-handedly told my dad to go get one from the ladies room.

    Here's the article:

    PRESS BOX CLOSING THE END OF AN ERA
    By Mike Hudson
    I don't think the state raised much last week when it auctioned the contents of the Press Box restaurant for unpaid taxes.

    Owner Flo Acotto was too poor to keep much of a stock of beer or liquor on hand, and the tables, chairs, barstools and kitchenware largely dated back to the Kennedy administration.

    Not being from here, of course, the governor wouldn't know that the Press Box has been a cornerstone of the South End entertainment and social scene for nearly a half-century. And, while others in the area have benefited mightily from the state's programs, it was Flo's view that a restaurant should be in the business of selling food and drinks, not sucking up to politicians and looking for a handout.

    Still, politics was the lifeblood of the Press Box. Generations of reporters interviewed generations of politicians and drank untold bottles of beer, scotch, rye, gin and vodka. It was always a pleasure to ask an unsuspecting politico to meet you there for lunch and then watch his or her reaction as Flo reamed them up one side and down the other for their failures.

    When one agreed to meet you there a second time, you knew they were brave enough, or good-natured enough, to govern effectively.

    Back in 1959, when Flo opened the joint, the Niagara Falls Gazette employed around 200 people. Her famous big salads, Pittsburgers and steaks were an instant hit, and the kitchen stayed open past midnight to accommodate the hungry pressmen working the graveyard shift.

    In those days, you had to show you sold a certain amount of food before they'd give you a liquor license. Flo got help from Pete "The Bull" Magaddino -- the don's brother -- who'd come in and pay $20 for his two-dollar lunch.

    "Ring it up," he'd say. Before too long, Flo had her license. Pete, meanwhile, had a new customer for the beer he distributed.

    Somewhere along the way, it became a Press Box tradition for patrons to tape dollar bills onto the walls with their name, hometown or a little greeting written on them. Every year around Christmas, Flo would take the bills down and donate the money to charity. Over the decades, she gave away tens of thousands of dollars in this fashion.

    She also gave away a lot of free lunches and a lot of free drinks and, every day at noon, she'd amble across Niagara Street to her beloved St. Mary's for Mass.

    Things began to go badly in the mid-1990s. An unfavorable currency exchange rate resulted in a drop-off in the Canadian trade, for which the Press Box was famous. The Gazette staff dwindled from 200 to 20, and the days when newshounds needed six or eight drinks to get them through the day all but ended. The place had thrived on the convention business, eliminated when the state gifted the Seneca Nation of Indians with the convention center for use as a casino, and the state's draconian anti-smoking law provided perhaps the final nail in the coffin.

    By the end, the place had become something of a small social club in the afternoons, where a reprobate newspaperman could mingle with firefighters from North Tonawanda, gay guys from the neighborhood, aging Mafiosi and the occasional tourist. Flo played mother hen to them all, feisty but lovable, hard-boiled with a heart of gold.

    After paying her vendors and employees, there was little left. Flo didn't pay herself, and lived on Social Security. She fell behind on her state sales tax, ultimately to the tune of $70,000.

    George Pataki and his minions can blather on all they want about their alleged desire to revitalize downtown Niagara Falls. They are liars. Flo turned 80 some time ago and they took away the only thing in this world that meant anything to her. They destroyed a landmark business, known around the world and one of the few authentic vestiges remaining of "old Niagara." They threw 10 good men and women out of work, and eliminated any chance of collecting the taxes owed by shutting the place down and selling off its contents for pennies on the dollar.

    The stupid sons of bitches.

    #6
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/07/19 14:49:27 (permalink)
    That's a keeper. Thanks.
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    berndog
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/07/19 14:49:57 (permalink)
    I'll echo your closing comment about the stupidity of New York $tate government Spudnut, or maybe it was still part of the article by Mike Hudson.

    Obviously business was not doing well for Flo to have fallen so far behind in sales tax, but at about 8.5%, that $70,000 represented sales tax on appropximately $823,500 of retail business. It looks like all this money went into running the business, and she would have closed sooner had it been payed to the state.

    Now that Flo is out of work, maybe we can get her to go to Albany, and teach some work ethics to our stupid and lazy legislators and senators who still have not passed a buget for this year (it was due on April 1 for those who don't live in NY). I am beginning to wonder if they know how to do anything besides collect their fat salaries.
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    Spudnut
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/07/19 15:34:04 (permalink)

    quote:
    Originally posted by berndog

    I'll echo your closing comment about the stupidity of New York $tate government Spudnut, or maybe it was still part of the article by Mike Hudson.

    Obviously business was not doing well for Flo to have fallen so far behind in sales tax, but at about 8.5%, that $70,000 represented sales tax on appropximately $823,500 of retail business. It looks like all this money went into running the business, and she would have closed sooner had it been payed to the state.

    Now that Flo is out of work, maybe we can get her to go to Albany, and teach some work ethics to our stupid and lazy legislators and senators who still have not passed a buget for this year (it was due on April 1 for those who don't live in NY). I am beginning to wonder if they know how to do anything besides collect their fat salaries.


    Actually, the "stupid sons of bitches" line was the reporter's (it's a very opinion-driven local newspaper.) But, I have no problem with it. I understand that, sometimes, good things come to an end. And I also understand that, sometimes, rules are rules for a reason. I just don't think that anyone was a winner in this case.

    I could go on...but won't.
    #9
    chezkatie
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/07/19 16:52:41 (permalink)
    This is a sad story and I feel so sorry for this dear woman who sounds like she had a heart of gold.
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    tootshor
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/09/14 12:17:34 (permalink)
    Ahh...the Arena Grille - I remember it well. As a kid I use to go in there a lot (both Billy C and Billy S were family friends)- lasagne was great and ol' Marcus made a great roast beef. He got married when in his 80's! The man had style.

    Very interesting clientele...
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    Another great spot right near the New Haven Register and the New Haven Journal Courier was the Arena Grille. Many's the drink picked up on deadlines and after a paper was put to bed with the blessings of original owner Joe Small and later Billy Calamita and Billy Sandella. Ah, the Thursday corned beef and cabbage and the Wednesday lasagna.

    It was a place where great news decisions were made, and where last night's hockey-basketball-football-baseball game was replayed over and over again.
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    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/09/14 14:05:21 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tootshor

    Ahh...the Arena Grille - I remember it well. As a kid I use to go in there a lot (both Billy C and Billy S were family friends)- lasagne was great and ol' Marcus made a great roast beef. He got married when in his 80's! The man had style.

    Very interesting clientele...

    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    Another great spot right near the New Haven Register and the New Haven Journal Courier was the Arena Grille. Many's the drink picked up on deadlines and after a paper was put to bed with the blessings of original owner Joe Small and later Billy Calamita and Billy Sandella. Ah, the Thursday corned beef and cabbage and the Wednesday lasagna.

    It was a place where great news decisions were made, and where last night's hockey-basketball-football-baseball game was replayed over and over again.



    Very interesting clientele. I recall an evening when my friend, the believed-to-be-late Midge Renault (real name Louis Annuziata) asked my soon-to-be-bride to dance. After he brought her back to the booth she said, "Louis has something on his back that feels like metal. Do you know what it is?"
    I explained that it was most likely a gun, and she said, "I didn't know Louis was a policeman."

    The Arena Grille was a great place. Everybody had a gun -- the cops and the crooks.

    I went to Billy Cal's wedding. Billy Sandella and his wife Pat were good friends. I first met them at the bar they owned at Chapel and Norton.

    I don't remember Marcus. The cook I remember was Ernie Mazza's mother, and Billy Cal's mother used to come in and make lasagna sometimes.
    #12
    tootshor
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/09/15 11:07:45 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman[Very interesting clientele. I recall an evening when my friend, the believed-to-be-late Midge Renault (real name Louis Annuziata) asked my soon-to-be-bride to dance. After he brought her back to the booth she said, 'Louis has something on his back that feels like metal. Do you know what it is?'
    I explained that it was most likely a gun, and she said, 'I didn't know Louis was a policeman.'

    The Arena Grille was a great place. Everybody had a gun -- the cops and the crooks.

    I went to Billy Cal's wedding. Billy Sandella and his wife Pat were good friends. I first met them at the bar they owned at Chapel and Norton.

    I don't remember Marcus. The cook I remember was Ernie Mazza's mother, and Billy Cal's mother used to come in and make lasagna sometimes.

    Midgy had a hot temper. Made people very nervous. Sure glad I didn’t scratch his brand new Caddy when he asked me to park it! He vanished.

    Marcus was part-time. Another cook was Rose. May have been others, of course, but memory fades abit.

    Billy C was slick, real charmer. Billy S lost long battle with Parkinson’s.

    The bar at Chapel and Norton was called The Parkway. Wild place. Cool jazz in the ‘50’s with Tommy & Eddy, Peter Duchin, others. Kenny Ussey (or Euston) played there. Great blackjack player. Was banned in Vegas for card counting. Died in Paris, mid-‘70’s, just prior to NJ Gaming Commission hearings…

    Used to go to Bilfred’s or Al’s for eggs after last call!

    The place turned happy sometime in the ‘60’s. Pat sold it to take care of Billy.

    It’s now a dental office.

    New Haven – gotta luv the apizza. Even starting to like the freakin’ Yalies!

    #13
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/09/15 12:14:20 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tootshor

    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman[Very interesting clientele. I recall an evening when my friend, the believed-to-be-late Midge Renault (real name Louis Annuziata) asked my soon-to-be-bride to dance. After he brought her back to the booth she said, 'Louis has something on his back that feels like metal. Do you know what it is?'
    I explained that it was most likely a gun, and she said, 'I didn't know Louis was a policeman.'

    The Arena Grille was a great place. Everybody had a gun -- the cops and the crooks.

    I went to Billy Cal's wedding. Billy Sandella and his wife Pat were good friends. I first met them at the bar they owned at Chapel and Norton.

    I don't remember Marcus. The cook I remember was Ernie Mazza's mother, and Billy Cal's mother used to come in and make lasagna sometimes.

    Midgy had a hot temper. Made people very nervous. Sure glad I didn’t scratch his brand new Caddy when he asked me to park it! He vanished.

    Marcus was part-time. Another cook was Rose. May have been others, of course, but memory fades abit.

    Billy C was slick, real charmer. Billy S lost long battle with Parkinson’s.

    The bar at Chapel and Norton was called The Parkway. Wild place. Cool jazz in the ‘50’s with Tommy & Eddy, Peter Duchin, others. Kenny Ussey (or Euston) played there. Great blackjack player. Was banned in Vegas for card counting. Died in Paris, mid-‘70’s, just prior to NJ Gaming Commission hearings…

    Used to go to Bilfred’s or Al’s for eggs after last call!

    The place turned happy sometime in the ‘60’s. Pat sold it to take care of Billy.

    It’s now a dental office.

    New Haven – gotta luv the apizza. Even starting to like the freakin’ Yalies!



    I knew Midge vanished. I read a Register story about his body possibly being found in Kentucky. Then it turned out the body was of a guy who was at least six feet tall. Midge might have loved being that tall. By the way, he night have hollered at you for scratching the car, but that would have ben about it. Unless there was business involved, Midge was a pretty nice guy. At least he was to me.

    I didn't know about Billy Sandella. You referred to Billy Cal in the past tense, is he gone, too?

    I caught Georgia Southern at the Parkway once. I remember several of us left the Parkway with her and went down to the Dell on Chapel Street that was owned by Jack Weiss and his sister Harvey. Harvey, as I recall, finally got busted for prostitution, then Jack left town and went to Toledo.

    Al's was practically my home-away-from-home for years. I still make an Al's Special when I get to yearning. Corned beef and pastrami with Swiss and onions on rye.
    #14
    tootshor
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/09/15 12:42:34 (permalink)
    Billy Cal is still with us, though Flo is gone (cancer). Jack Weise gone as well.

    Wish I could remember what Al's was like inside - everytime I was there things were a little blurry


    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    quote:
    Originally posted by tootshor

    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman[Very interesting clientele. I recall an evening when my friend, the believed-to-be-late Midge Renault (real name Louis Annuziata) asked my soon-to-be-bride to dance. After he brought her back to the booth she said, 'Louis has something on his back that feels like metal. Do you know what it is?'
    I explained that it was most likely a gun, and she said, 'I didn't know Louis was a policeman.'

    The Arena Grille was a great place. Everybody had a gun -- the cops and the crooks.

    I went to Billy Cal's wedding. Billy Sandella and his wife Pat were good friends. I first met them at the bar they owned at Chapel and Norton.

    I don't remember Marcus. The cook I remember was Ernie Mazza's mother, and Billy Cal's mother used to come in and make lasagna sometimes.

    Midgy had a hot temper. Made people very nervous. Sure glad I didn’t scratch his brand new Caddy when he asked me to park it! He vanished.

    Marcus was part-time. Another cook was Rose. May have been others, of course, but memory fades abit.

    Billy C was slick, real charmer. Billy S lost long battle with Parkinson’s.

    The bar at Chapel and Norton was called The Parkway. Wild place. Cool jazz in the ‘50’s with Tommy & Eddy, Peter Duchin, others. Kenny Ussey (or Euston) played there. Great blackjack player. Was banned in Vegas for card counting. Died in Paris, mid-‘70’s, just prior to NJ Gaming Commission hearings…

    Used to go to Bilfred’s or Al’s for eggs after last call!

    The place turned happy sometime in the ‘60’s. Pat sold it to take care of Billy.

    It’s now a dental office.

    New Haven – gotta luv the apizza. Even starting to like the freakin’ Yalies!



    I knew Midge vanished. I read a Register story about his body possibly being found in Kentucky. Then it turned out the body was of a guy who was at least six feet tall. Midge might have loved being that tall. By the way, he night have hollered at you for scratching the car, but that would have ben about it. Unless there was business involved, Midge was a pretty nice guy. At least he was to me.

    I didn't know about Billy Sandella. You referred to Billy Cal in the past tense, is he gone, too?

    I caught Georgia Southern at the Parkway once. I remember several of us left the Parkway with her and went down to the Dell on Chapel Street that was owned by Jack Weiss and his sister Harvey. Harvey, as I recall, finally got busted for prostitution, then Jack left town and went to Toledo.

    Al's was practically my home-away-from-home for years. I still make an Al's Special when I get to yearning. Corned beef and pastrami with Swiss and onions on rye.
    #15
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/09/15 13:20:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tootshor

    Billy Cal is still with us, though Flo is gone (cancer). Jack Weise gone as well.

    Wish I could remember what Al's was like inside - everytime I was there things were a little blurry



    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    quote:
    Originally posted by tootshor

    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman[Very interesting clientele. I recall an evening when my friend, the believed-to-be-late Midge Renault (real name Louis Annuziata) asked my soon-to-be-bride to dance. After he brought her back to the booth she said, 'Louis has something on his back that feels like metal. Do you know what it is?'
    I explained that it was most likely a gun, and she said, 'I didn't know Louis was a policeman.'

    The Arena Grille was a great place. Everybody had a gun -- the cops and the crooks.

    I went to Billy Cal's wedding. Billy Sandella and his wife Pat were good friends. I first met them at the bar they owned at Chapel and Norton.

    I don't remember Marcus. The cook I remember was Ernie Mazza's mother, and Billy Cal's mother used to come in and make lasagna sometimes.

    Midgy had a hot temper. Made people very nervous. Sure glad I didn’t scratch his brand new Caddy when he asked me to park it! He vanished.

    Marcus was part-time. Another cook was Rose. May have been others, of course, but memory fades abit.

    Billy C was slick, real charmer. Billy S lost long battle with Parkinson’s.

    The bar at Chapel and Norton was called The Parkway. Wild place. Cool jazz in the ‘50’s with Tommy & Eddy, Peter Duchin, others. Kenny Ussey (or Euston) played there. Great blackjack player. Was banned in Vegas for card counting. Died in Paris, mid-‘70’s, just prior to NJ Gaming Commission hearings…

    Used to go to Bilfred’s or Al’s for eggs after last call!

    The place turned happy sometime in the ‘60’s. Pat sold it to take care of Billy.

    It’s now a dental office.

    New Haven – gotta luv the apizza. Even starting to like the freakin’ Yalies!



    I knew Midge vanished. I read a Register story about his body possibly being found in Kentucky. Then it turned out the body was of a guy who was at least six feet tall. Midge might have loved being that tall. By the way, he night have hollered at you for scratching the car, but that would have ben about it. Unless there was business involved, Midge was a pretty nice guy. At least he was to me.

    I didn't know about Billy Sandella. You referred to Billy Cal in the past tense, is he gone, too?

    I caught Georgia Southern at the Parkway once. I remember several of us left the Parkway with her and went down to the Dell on Chapel Street that was owned by Jack Weiss and his sister Harvey. Harvey, as I recall, finally got busted for prostitution, then Jack left town and went to Toledo.

    Al's was practically my home-away-from-home for years. I still make an Al's Special when I get to yearning. Corned beef and pastrami with Swiss and onions on rye.


    I'm glad to hear about Billy Cal. I still remember dancing with Flo at their wedding. That was a long time ago. About 1964 or 1965, if I recall.I married in September 1965 and then moved out of Connecticut. I remember a few years later visiting my folks and finding that Billy Cal had taken over, Stowes (I think it was) in West Haven. We had dinner there, and it was quite a reunion. An old Arena Grille pal, Eddie Eibel (sp) was there that night, and we had a ball. I don't know whether you'd recall Eddie, but he married a gal who was a waitress at the Grille.

    By the way, Al's was just a large luncheonette-type place. A lot like a diner -- bright, stools at the counter, and lots of booths. And, usually found sitting at the counter late at night was a guy with a funeral parlor, Billy Iovanne.
    #16
    Onofrio
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 14:14:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    Now there is a great subgenre of Roadfood restaurants: where reporters eat. Can't help but mention the Billy Goat Tavern in that respect -- a favorite of Mike Royko and reporters from the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune long before it was known for cheezeborgers.


    #17
    Onofrio
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 14:15:49 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    Now there is a great subgenre of Roadfood restaurants: where reporters eat. Can't help but mention the Billy Goat Tavern in that respect -- a favorite of Mike Royko and reporters from the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune long before it was known for cheezeborgers.


    #18
    Onofrio
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 14:17:10 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    Now there is a great subgenre of Roadfood restaurants: where reporters eat. Can't help but mention the Billy Goat Tavern in that respect -- a favorite of Mike Royko and reporters from the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune long before it was known for cheezeborgers.


    #19
    Onofrio
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 8
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 14:18:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    Now there is a great subgenre of Roadfood restaurants: where reporters eat. Can't help but mention the Billy Goat Tavern in that respect -- a favorite of Mike Royko and reporters from the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune long before it was known for cheezeborgers.


    #20
    Onofrio
    Junior Burger
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 14:19:53 (permalink)
    I remember Midge, love to hear stories. Anyone remember Chip's Bar on Grand Ave, and Panzo's in east haven?
    #21
    Onofrio
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 8
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 14:25:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    Now there is a great subgenre of Roadfood restaurants: where reporters eat. Can't help but mention the Billy Goat Tavern in that respect -- a favorite of Mike Royko and reporters from the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune long before it was known for cheezeborgers.


    #22
    Onofrio
    Junior Burger
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 14:27:25 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Stern

    Now there is a great subgenre of Roadfood restaurants: where reporters eat. Can't help but mention the Billy Goat Tavern in that respect -- a favorite of Mike Royko and reporters from the Chicago Sun-Times and Tribune long before it was known for cheezeborgers.


    #23
    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 14:34:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Onofrio

    I remember Midge, love to hear stories. Anyone remember Chip's Bar on Grand Ave, and Panzo's in east haven?

    I don't remember Chip's or Panzo's. What was the name of the bar on Whalley Avenue that Red Licari ran, and where the bartender was a guy named Jiggs?
    #24
    Onofrio
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 8
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    • Location: New Haven, CT
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 14:40:44 (permalink)
    His Name was Sal Annunziato, not Louis
    #25
    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 15:41:42 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Onofrio

    His Name was Sal Annunziato, not Louis

    Actually, it was Salvatore.

    What happened was he introduced himself to my bride-to-be as Louis, and I wasn't going to correct him. Midge did that sort of thing.
    #26
    redtressed
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1017
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 16:11:28 (permalink)
    I love this thread....I know nothing of these people or places, but your reminiscences are a great story. Thank y'all.

    ( I deleted the duplicating picture posts, Onofrio)


    Well erm.....I'm going to when my delete function gets back
    #27
    tootshor
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 4
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    • Location: new haven, CT
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/14 19:25:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Michael Hoffman

    quote:
    Originally posted by Onofrio

    I remember Midge, love to hear stories. Anyone remember Chip's Bar on Grand Ave, and Panzo's in east haven?

    I don't remember Chip's or Panzo's. What was the name of the bar on Whalley Avenue that Red Licari ran, and where the bartender was a guy named Jiggs?


    Called the University Grille. Red ran it with his brothers (Pauley, Joey, and I think one other). Jiggs had diabetes. All long gone.
    #28
    mr chips
    Filet Mignon
    • Total Posts : 4727
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/18 11:22:26 (permalink)
    Press hangouts are great places. When I lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the bar acrooss from the News-Sentinel introduced me to Pork Tenderlons and fried veggies. It was also the hangout for Fort Wayne's arts community, gay community and activist community. You never knew who you would run into. Wish I could remember he name.
    #29
    calamita
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 1
    • Joined: 2004/12/24 14:20:00
    • Location: New York, NY
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    RE: The Press Box 2004/12/24 15:18:43 (permalink)
    Hoffman, Onofrio & tootshor, I had a ball reading about your reminiscences of the Arena Grille and and my father, Billy Calamita. FYI, his father (Bill Calamita Sr.) owned the University Grill in New Haven in the 1940s.

    Your memories are very precise. My parents married in 1963 and my mom passed away in 1999. My father owned Stowes Pilot House for about 10 years, through out most of the seventies. After that he managed a bar in the New Haven Coliseum that the New Haven Nighthawks opened. They brought in my father and a lot of his Arena memorabilia to try bring back some of the glory days of New Haven and its hockey teams. He did this part time through much of the 80's.
    #30
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