Tirtilli’s (Solly’s) Tavern
From: Camardo, Eleanor
RE: Archives’ Stories
Dear Mark and Vince:
It would be sacrilegious if I did not express those happy good years. I am not the writer you are so please edit as you see fit. No hard feelings because I trust your journalism. Eliminate or add, I will understand. If not this edition maybe you can print it in the future issues.
Another social meeting place that should be mentioned for our Taylor Street Archives would be Tiritilli’s Tavern (Solly’s) at 1435 W Taylor St. Today it would be a Sports Bar. How dignified compared to “Solly’s Tavern.” Actually it was more like Cheers. Solly’s was a much better place. Besides having card games and mora games, a volunteer chef was always ready to make spicy meals like snails, sausage or meatball gravy. It also served as the neighborhood’s posting station. Family members were always able to contact or leave a message to anyone in the place whenever necessary. He, Solly, would receive the neighbors packages (imagine Christmas time), certified letters and even checks when neighbors were not home. Even the kids would go to Solly’s if they needed help or were stranded until the parents got home from work. No cell phones then. Solly knew his friends and neighbors (customers) and they knew him as one would know their own blood family. Newborns, weddings, graduations, deaths or what ever–(good news or bad) — you heard it first at Solly’s.
We were in great need during the 60’s when I had to have transportation to go back and forth to St. Luke’s Hospital. All I had to do was call the tavern for a ride and they were in front of my house to take my son and me to the hospital…and then back home again. I never knew who would be at my door. Most of the time it would be Hot Dog, JB (Mike or John Fiore), Butch (Papaleo) or Gino LaBalarte. This is the brotherhood Taylor Street was. It’s over 22 years when Solly was forced to shut down due to poor health and you can rest assured that a day does not go by when the old timers sitting at the Conte di Savoa have not mentioned Solly’s. I bet they still know the phone number. In memory of all the departed loved ones who have given us these unforgettable memories, I pray somewhere in time our children will inherit a bit of the camaraderie my husband, children I have been blessed with here on Taylor Street.
This is beautiful piece of writing. It brings to life one of the treasures that was Taylor Street.