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Letter: Cheers to a bartender who was adored by all

Cheers to a bartender who was adored by all

It has only been a week, but I miss him already. Mike Thomas – everyone’s friend, bartender and keeper of the gates – has been taken from us. He fought a tough battle with lung disease and heart problems. Mike tended bar in this town, I am sure, for 50 years. He spent time downtown and in other areas of the city, but most of us remember him from Checkers on Hertel Avenue.

Nowhere can we find the bartender of old anymore, the one who could make you smile as soon as you walked in the door. It was just a matter of time before he had you laughing and forgetting the past week’s troubles. Never in all my years of knowing Mike was it about him. He always made you feel special, no matter if you were a professional or a laborer. He treated us all as individuals and we were special to him. Never did I hear him say an unkind word about anyone.

The loves of his life were his daughters and grandchildren. He was a devoted father and grandfather.

Mike, a trivia buff and sports enthusiast, had a quick wit and was never at a loss for words. I am willing to bet he now has Joe Lang (from Cole’s) already in stitches.

As a former family bar owner, along with all those who knew Mike and others from the old school of bartenders: This one is for you, Mike Thomas!

Ray Spasiano

Buffalo

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