P.J. Clarke's
915 Third Avenue, Manhattan
(Corner of 55th Street)
To P.J. Clarke's web site

 

 
 

This is Duchess. She joined me in Miami Beach. Her photo is here because she was a part of P.J. Clarke's history. You can read about her in another part of my web site. She and Skippy, P.J. Clarke's guardian, became great friends. If Skip didn't like your dog it wasn't welcome in P.J. Clarke's,
        The first trip to New York with Duchess was around 1959-60. We were out for a walk from our hotel, the Great Northern on 57th Street, and wandered into P.J. Clarke's. I didn't know about Skip, but the two of them met and it was love at first site. I had a lady friend who had a beautiful German Shepard and couldn't bring him into the bar because Skip didn't like him. She was furious, After the first visit we became regulars whenever we were in New York.
          P. J. Clarke's on Third Ave. in New York City was one of my favorite places; learned that it was also one of  Frank Sinatra's favorite. The fall of 1960, I was sitting at a table with my dog, Duchess, who was eating a hamburger under the table.  PJ Clarke's had a dog named Skip. Skip and Duchess were great friends, therefore Duchess was permitted in the restaurant. One morning, around two Sarah Vaughan came in with a group of people. When she saw me, she came over to say "hello" and to pet Duchess; she and Duchess were good friends. She invited us to join her group. Johnny Mathis, Syd Shaw and a couple of other people, were in the group. I was introduced all around and sat with Sass. Later, we left PJ's and went up to Johnny's apartment to listen to his latest record.
    A few days later I had a message at my Hotel from Johnny, inviting me to go hear Adam Wade at the Roundtable. People said Adam sounded like Johnny, so Johnny wanted to hear him. 
       That night I met Adam and Helen Noga, Johnny's Manger. Syd Shaw was there and we had a good conversation about the music business. Some years later, Adam and I became close friends through a mutual friend, Maria de Aragon. We performed in a play he wrote, The Dancer; his wife directed it.
           Also, Syd Shaw and I became good friends. Years later he wrote an act for my wife, Paula Samonte, who was and is a fantastic singer, Syd did not want to hear her because of our friendship, he didn't want to hurt my feelings if she didn't meet his standards. Finally, I got him to go to a club in Astoria where she was appearing, and when he heard her, he flipped. Syd wrote an act for her and we recorded her using Sarah Vaughans' band.

 

 

LOUIS TROISI & BILL GRENNAN

Shorter fellow is Louis Troisi, "Hurry up, Louis". Best of the bartenders who worked the front room at night. Came from Mike Quinto's Michaels II bar where high brows mingled with low brows in late 50's and early 60's. He has retired to New Jersey.

Taller fellow is Bill Grennan, wonderful fellow who worked the front bar many years. Also retired, living in Florida.

         
 

         

Click here to see larger press items