Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bungalow Bar Ice Cream

from wikipedia
Bungalow Bar was a brand of ice cream sold from trucks to consumers on the streets in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens and the Bronx during the 1950s and 60's. Bungalow Bar trucks serviced the Bushwick section of Brooklyn during forties. Bungalow Bar trucks had a distinctive, quaint, and decidedly old-fashioned look: white, with rounded corners, and made to look like a small, mobile bungalow topped with a dark brown shingle roof.
The founder of Bungalow Bar was a Greek immigrant who left Greece just before the onset of WWII. He had five children all of whom worked in the factory. His 2 daughters are still alive today March 2008. To the best of their memory, they can remember the huge production building located in Richmond Hill, Queens. The one daughter worked both in the office and then learned how to operate the machines in the packing plant.
Bungalow Bar's chief competitive rival was Good Humor, whose trucks appeared larger, more angular, and more modern. Perhaps for this reason, Bungalow Bar suffered from a terrible - and undeserved - reputation among children, who believed their product inferior. Good Humor's ice cream on a stick sold for 10 cents, while Bungalow Bar's price was 5 cents. This reputation was expressed as a kind of chant or song and, passing from one child to another, quickly crossed neighborhood boundaries and age groups. The lyrics, as learned in Flatbush, Brooklyn in the late 1950s, were:
Bungalow Bar
Tastes like tar
Put it in a jar
And throw it far
There were many localized variations of this chant. One, during the same period went:
Bungalow Bar
Tastes like tar
The more you eat
The sicker you are
And another, from Brooklyn:
Bungalow Bar
Tastes like tar
Take a bite
And spit it far
* In an episode of The Sopranos, Tony Soprano, being joshed by non-Mafia individuals, asked if he ever met John Gotti, replies that he did meet Gotti once at an auction when Bungalow Bar declared bankrputcy and was auctioning off their trucks. Tony said he bid on the very last truck, but was outbid by Gotti. However Gotti was a good sport about it and gave Tony a ride home in the truck, and rang the bell the whole ride home.


JACK said...


Anonymous said...

In the part of Queens where I come from (Rosedale), it went:

Bungalow bar
Tastes like tar
Spit it out
and it goes so far!


Thanks for the memory!

Anonymous said...

thats my dad driving charle cohan

Recumbent Guy said...

My father grew up in Brooklyn and drove a Bungalow bar truck. I have a picture somewhere of him standing next to it...

Recumbent Guy said...

My dad grew up in Brooklyn and drove a Bungalow Bar Truck. I have a picture of him standing next to one! Pretty cool seeing this history.

Unknown said...

I partially grew up near Beverly Road in Brooklyn. I used to love Bungalow bar because it sold a range of ice cream/ices products from several manufacturers besides direct BB products. I liked the banana or red white and blue rocket pops! But if we didn't like a driver, we would chant: Bungalow bar, tastes like tar, you will DIE!!! wherever you are....hey, it was the real American back then....JeffreyJSmithNewYork@usa.com