The Restaurant Business? – Who would have ever thought? The son of a doctor, godson of a dentist… What’s he going to be? A Dentist? Well almost – Until the Restaurant bug bit him…
Brought up in Mount Vernon and Pelham, Pete came to age at the end of the turbulent and nonconforming sixties. He grew up with the love of music, and as a bass guitarist at sixteen played his first club. That’s probably where it all started. Throughout his college years as a pre-dental major, he worked the tri-state area with a popular band known as St. James Infirmary. At nineteen Pete met his wife, Denise, while at work backing up The Belmonts on a live radio show. Shortly after that he began to help out in Denise’s father’s business, a bar/restaurant in White Plains, as a kitchen helper and bartender. Now married, finishing college, and about to apply to dental school, his father in-law suggested that he could pick up this small “Beer & Shot Joint” in Elmsford. “Let it pay the bills… Keep it until you finish school – Then dump it.”
August 15, 1977, Pete arrived in Elmsford… and stayed. Thirty-Nine Years and six major renovations later, “PETE’S” Saloon & Restaurant has become a landmark for food and music in Westchester County. PETE’S is a place to “EAT”. Under the premise that – “people must eat two or three times a day – and they may only be able to afford to dine once a week”, Pete created an affordable, home cooked menu consisting of burgers, steaks, chops, and fresh seafood that is accessible to almost any person’s daily budget.
Besides the food, PETE’S is also known for nightly entertainment schedule. As per Pete… “I still love music – and I hate a quiet bar… On occasion I even get to sit in.”Whether it be the blues, funk, rock or even a psychic, PETE’S maintains a lively bar crowd long after other establishments have closed. All in all, Pete also recognizes that the success of a business can only be measured by the quality of its employees. Many of his people have been there for 5, 10 and up to 22 years!
Today, Pete has done something he never thought he would do-on September 8th, 2020 after months of negotiations due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Pete has retired! New owner Anthony Bartolotta looks to continue Pete’s legacy of good food, good company and of course, live music.
“When people ask me what my plans are, it’s simple, Pete made it here 43 years, my goal is 43 years and 1 day God willing.” The way I look at it is “Same Book, New Chapter.”
Pete’s will continue to be a beacon for Live Music as throughout the pandemic, we have never strayed away from our roots and we have no intention on doing so.
Pete’s is a fixture of the Elmsford community and always will be.