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Arthur J. "Little Art" Thomas, 85, a retired bartender who was known for the crisp white shirts he wore and his style in mixing drinks, died Monday (July 28, 1997) at his home in Buffalo.

Thomas, a native of New York City, left home at an early age to work as a waiter in Schenectady and Utica, where he met his wife, the former Margaret "Tootie" Clark. She was a chorus girl at the Harbor Point Club in Utica when they met.

In the late 1930s, they moved to Buffalo to work at the Dan Montgomery Hotel on Curtiss Street. He was the bartender and his wife danced in the All-Black Chorus Revue. They were only supposed to stay three weeks at the Buffalo job, but the three weeks turned into a lifetime stay.

Thomas worked as a bartender at several popular clubs until he retired at the age of 65.

After his retirement from bartending, he worked for several liquor stores. He was an avid horse race fan and enjoyed going to the races at Saratoga and Fort Erie, Ont.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years; a daughter, Barbara A.; a son, Arthur J. Jr. of Albany; and a sister, Edna Phillips of Seattle.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Thomas T. Edwards Funeral Home, 995 Genesee St.


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