Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Blue Room Belch?

Christopher and George Pharo

In the past few years, I've become interested in the neighborhood where four generations of my family lived and thrived -- Cincinnati's East End. I've discovered that this neighborhood, like the Ohio River it borders, is in the blood of those connected to it. Over the past year, it has been my pleasure to meet several people from the East End.

I recently met Mark Pharo, whose family owned a bar in the East End almost directly across the street from St. Rose Church. Pharo's Bar was a well-known hangout in the 1940s at the time of World War II. Mark's aunt had old copies of a newspaper, the Blue Room Belch, that was written by bar patrons and mailed to more than 60 neighborhood service men and women during the war.  It's a slice of life in a neighborhood that has seen better times, but was once thriving.  In this bar, not only did everyone know your name but also your nickname.

The "Blue Room" in the bar served as a gathering place for the neighborhood. Read along with me as I share the stories they told about their friends, their community and a way of life we'll not see again.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Location of Christ. Pharo's Place on Eastern near St. Rose Church

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