Jack Loftus, one of Yorkville’s great men passed away peacefully last week at 90 years old. Jack was an Irishman proud to count America as his home, a WW II Army captain, a tavern owner, neighborhood leader and a loyal New York Giant football fan.
Jack owned Loftus Tavern on the southwest corner of 85th Street & York Avenue from the early 1950s to the late 1970s. During that time and right up to last week, Jack lived in the apartment building over the bar.
The 1954 night I was born in Woodside, Queens, Dad hailed a Checker cab in front of the hospital. They drove over the 59th Street Bridge into Manhattan where Dad danced on top of Loftus bar. Jack attended my baptism, communion and wedding. He never turned down a kid with a raffle or failed to buy out a table at a local dance.
Jack is one of my favorite Yorkville memories. Here are some Loftus Tavern pictures and an anecdote involving Jack and his sweet generosity.
On Saturday, April 30th @ 12 noon, there will be a Memorial Mass for Jack Loftus @ Saint Stephen of Hungary Church @ 408 East 82nd Street.
After the mass, I expect folks will walk over to Bailey’s Corner on 85th & York to toast Jack at the tavern formerly known as Loftus Tavern. The original bar is still there.