History of the Saratoga
In 1942, a young, energetic young man decided that he wanted to serve the community by investing in it's downtown. In October of 1942, Joseph Malooley purchased the Saratoga Bar & Cafe from Attorney N. George Nasser. Once Joe began his work in the restaurant, he realized that the business required more time than one person could handle. Joe spoke to his younger brother Abe and asked if he would join him in the daily operation of the restaurant. Abe quickly accepted and the two brothers soon became "instant" hits downtown. Joe and Abe commanded the admiration and respect of everyone that crossed their paths.
Joe chose to concentrate on the night portion of the restaurant with his long time companion Lucille Perkins. Abe could be seen every day cutting meat, making "lunch" menus and greeting each customer with his exuberant smile and warm personality. His beautiful wife Kate joined him in the daily operation and together they provided a heartfelt hospitality to each and every customer who walked through their doors.
In 1977, Abe's son-in-law George joined the Saratoga as daytime manager, while his wife, Abe's youngest daughter Cathy remained at home to care for their three daughters (Yes, George and Cathy followed in Abe and Kate's footsteps early by having three daughters too!)
In 1979, George asked Abe permission to add a "catering service" to the business. With Abe's approval, help and encouragement, George and Cathy established Azar's Catering Service. As the years passed, George realized that the business was in need of a newer more up-to-date image. He asked Cathy to join him in the operation and through her involvement the first of many rennovations began to take place.
In 1992, Abe suffered a heart attack that limited his involvement. Abe quickly decided to include George and Cathy in the ownership f the restaurant. In 1994, Abe passed away and will always be remembered as the "Mayor of Fifth and Wabash." Kate remained active in the business for many years until her untimely death. There will never be another "Hostess with the Mostess." We sincerely miss all of those who have passed before us.
In 2008, George and Cathy were ecstatic to find out that their youngest daughter, Alexis had expressed a sincere desire to learn the family business. She has started the learning process for her new career and hopes to continue the legacy for many years to come.
It has always been our desire to keep the Saratoga "in the family." As we look around our wonderful community, we notice great change. We regret that some of our fellow "family-operated" establishments are no longer part of the scene. We marvel, however, at the continues efforts to re-vitalize the downtown area. We applaud all those involved and pledge to do our part to keep the downtown "alive and vibrant." We pray that we can remain a part of the community for many years to come. We thank each and every one of our loyal customers for their years of support. We welcome our new customers and hope that one day they will be included in our long list of "regulars."
Looking to a bright and long future
George, Cathy and Alexis Azar