Thursday, May 06, 2010

Toots Shor: Saloonkeeper To The Stars

Bernard 'Toots' Shor - born on this day in 1903 - was fond of calling himself a saloonkeeper, when in fact he was actually a restaurateur and more of an impresario than anything else; while it was open, Toots Shor's Restaurant gave him more than just the ideal perch from which to watch a passing parade of stars, it gave him a staging area to help launch a nightly spectacle featuring those famous faces in the crowd.

In keeping with that fine Manhattan tradition of restaurant owners keeping their celebrated clientele humble with a clever facade of contempt - a tradition made famous during Prohibition by Texas Guinan, who greeted patrons with a cheery 'Hello suckers!' - Shor referred to his bold-print friends as 'crum-bums'. Of course, he saved this sobriquet for the ones he really liked...

In 2006 Shor's grand-daughter Kristi Jacobson made a documentary about her famous ancestor, the trailer for which appears above; the film's accompanying website appears you know where.
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