Answer Man: Morey’s, Gopher Liquor, the Lawler, and a fashion model
Dear Answer Man,
I know you’re too young to remember it, but can you come up with any information on a bar in Rochester in the 1940s called “Morries?” — Mike H.
Yes, I am too young to remember it, but luckily here at Answer Man World HQ we have a solid collection of old Rochester city directories for me to page through during my leisure time. And those directories trace an interesting history of Morey’s Bar & Cafe, which, according to the 1948 directory, was owned by Morey L. Kitzman, and his wife, Hazel.
Morey’s was located at 110 S. Broadway, and Morey and Hazel apparently lived upstairs at 110½ S. Broadway. Morey’s was listed as offering “wines, liquors and entertainment.”
Also in that 1948 directory, we find the Gopher Liquor Store, at 221 First Ave. SW, which was owned by Morey’s brother, Michael Kitzman. Old-timers will recognize that as the address of the Lawler Theatre.
Michael had purchased Gopher Liquor, which was founded by Morey in 1934, in 1946. Michael sold it in 1960. Morey had died in the early 1950s. Got all that?
By 1960, what had been Morey’s at 110 S. Broadway was occupied by Eddie Webster’s restaurant. Five years later, in 1965, Swiss Colony Cheese was located at 110 S. Broadway.
Incidentally, at the time Michael Kitzman sold Gopher Liquor, he was living in New York City with his wife and three children. He was, according to our voluminous files, an executive with Manger Hotels and his office was in the Vanderbilt Hotel.
His daughter, Patricia Kitzman, known as “Patsy,” went on to become a fashion model in Europe, and apparently still lives in Naples, Italy.