TUTIE’S, Ozone Park

Two for the price of one on Liberty Avenue at 88-17, with ads for a former local tavern, Tutie’s, and Garcia Grande Cigars.

Forgotten Fan James Burke remembers Tutie’s. He writes:

Tutie’s was a bar in Queens, on Liberty Ave. I think. It was unique in that every piece of memorabilia you could think of was in the bar.  Hanging from the ceiling, on the walls on the floor, unbelievable.  You could bring something in and they would hang it up.  For a price, you were allowed to hack out a piece of the bar, don’t know how they allowed that & kept the bar standing but they did.  Bells & whistles all over the place, especially in the ladies room!

What a place!


As the years rolled by just about everything you could imagine ended up somewhere in the bar at 88-19 Liberty Ave. There was even a toilet seat hanging from the ceiling. If you could name something that wasn’t there, you’d get a free drink.

The famous slogan of the bar’s owner, Tutie Sommese, was “If you’re sick of living and don’t know how to die come on down and give Tutie’s a try.” The Sommese family was one of the oldest in Ozone Park. John Sommese was an embalmer who lived on 94th Street with his wife, Concetta. Other Sommese family members were grocery workers and countermen.

After World War II, Tutie’s was very popular with returning servicemen. A generation later their sons returning from Vietnam loved the place just as much when they returned home. The wild atmosphere fed by the tchotchkes really took you away from the world and your problems. [Queens Chronicle]

The Tutie’s painted ad is still visible on the side of the building at 88-17 Liberty. It’s set far back from the street and must have been originally positioned to be seen from the el. Graffitists have now obscured the Garcia Grande cigar ad.

“Comment…as you see fit.”


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8 Responses to TUTIE’S, Ozone Park

  1. Steve Smith says:

    Garcia Grande was a local company headed by Mr. Julius Klorfein. An August 1922 item in The Retail Tobacconist (a Long Island City publication) says he was a pioneer in the method of combining Havana filler with Connecticut binder and a Shade-Grown wrapper, which I think is still the standard process today? Previously all Havanas were ‘clear wrapped’ and 100% Cuban tobacco. His company grew from a small handrolled enterprise with five cigarmakers in 1913 to five factories in NY, NJ, & PA producing 50,000,000 cigars a year by 1922 with nationwide adrvertising; …and a fancy suite of offices on Fifth Avenue.


  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s a mosque now.

  3. Mary V. says:

    I remember at 4:00 am when it became an after hours place and everybody went downstairs. At that time the only thing you could purchase was Pabst Blue Ribbon. I also remember a nickel that was somehow nailed to the bar upstairs. Everyone used to try to remove it but no one was ever successful. That was many, many years ago. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    • Anonymous says:

      I remember the after hours downstairs. Tutie always cooked on Friday night. I used to hang out with Buddy (tuties son) when he was on the police force.

      • Richard Longpre says:

        In 72/73 my wife and I rented the 2nd floor, left side, apartment in the Tuttie’s building. If you look at the building picture above, the window to the right of the “At” in the Tuttie’s sign was our kitchen. The window to the right f that was a dinning room. Our bedroom was at the front. We could wave to people on the El from our bedroom window. My wife and I helped out in the bar on Friday and Saturday nights. My wife often bartended on Wednesdays when Gus, the day bartender, had the day off. I also bartended at the after hour club downstairs. I was Friends with both Jimmy and Buddy but hung around with Buddy more. Buddy had talked about becoming a cop but worked at the bar at this point. We had a lot of good friends at Tuttie’s. On Sunday afternoons Tuttie would get busy in the little kitchen in the back of the bar and whip up something to eat, usually Italian and always good. Tuttie’s antics behind the bar were legendary. Sometimes he would pull a microphone down from the clutter hanging from ceiling and marry a couple of customers but only for the night. We had a good time but after a year or so we decided this was not where we wanted to raise out two daughters and we moved to the mountains in New Jersey. My wife is gone now and my two daughters barely remember it but I have some good memory’s. I’m now retired and live on a lake just north of Houston Texas.

  4. Mike crean says:

    I remember you used to go to the bar when everything else was closed .
    It was always open
    I remember the pasta also ..
    Don’t think we had to pay .
    But it was a dump ..

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