Bronco Charlie’s Restaurant

May 5, 2008 at 1:56 pm 40 comments

Bronco Charlie’s has been a well known institution in the Oakdale, NY community. Although its era is coming to a close, it still holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the community. Did you celebrate a special occasion at this restaurant? Do you have fond memories to share about this community institution? We would love to hear from you!

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Entry filed under: Oakdale NY, Restaurant. Tags: , , .

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40 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dan  |  May 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Just this weekend, I was telling my wife that we used to go there when I was a child. Does this mean, they are tearing down the building?

    Reply
  • 2. lisshquestions  |  May 5, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    I can only tell you what I know, and that is what appeared In today’s edition of the school newspaper, The Lion’s Voice*, “the building was sold to a private developer.” To quote a little further from this article: “Currently, Dowling College is unsure of the developer’s exact plan for “Bronco Charlie’s,” but of course, demolition will come first.”

    *Barba, Karissa. Bronco Charlie’s: Sold: Dowling Sells Montauk Hwy Building to Developer. Lion’s Voice. Oakdale, NY. May 2008. p. 1.

    Reply
  • 3. Mark Rothenberg  |  May 9, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    My parents started going there in the late 1940’s, and I remember dining there from the 1950’s-1970’s, on many festive occasions. My parents said that when they first dined there there, “Bronco” Charlie was fairly old, but still very much still alive. When I first went there as a child, my folks said that said his wife was still living. The original log cabin, built by the owner, was particularly enjoyable, shades of the “wild west” and of Buffalo Bill, at a time when evoking that imagery was esp. popular. I think that there was something colorfully biographical on the back of the menu about “Bronco” Charlie’s life. The cuisine was American, the food and service good. Of couurse this was in the days before there was much culnary variety, from which to choose, which made it a logical choice, as well as it’s reasonable proximity to home. My family’s memories of the place are fond. Sorry to see this landmark slip away.

    Reply
  • 4. Kathy  |  May 15, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Tear it down? Is it not a registered historical landmark?

    Reply
  • 5. jerkily  |  June 3, 2008 at 3:35 am

    Jerkily says : I absolutely agree with this !

    Reply
  • 6. Untouchability  |  June 19, 2008 at 4:41 am

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Untouchability.

    Reply
  • 7. mike resnick  |  November 11, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    live in oakdale from the 70’s and remember eatting there as a child. don’t tear it don’t at least relocate the oringinal building

    Reply
  • 8. ken m  |  December 9, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    I too visited this place from Brentwood on several occasions. Our tradition was Mother’s Day. We had about 12-15 relatives for dinner every Mother’s Day. I remember the shrimp cocktail and the steaks. I rmember my mom ordering the same. I looked forward to going there and the food was very good. Too bad most good things must end but they do.

    Reply
  • 9. Stacy Ladas  |  January 24, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    I worked at Bronco Charlies around 1977. The place was great. We had a German Chef, and I remember him making homemade apple strudel that was delicous. He would also make Sauerbraten that would marinate for days.
    I was in my late teens and did the bookkeeping. Sometimes I would help out waiting table during lunch. We had tray service, and I had to learn to carry those large trays. It’s a shame to see what has happened to the place. When did it go downhill ?

    Reply
  • 10. Jack Muller  |  March 5, 2009 at 1:09 am

    My father was the manager at Bronco Charlies for over 30 something years. The business was sold to a couple named the Marxes by Bronco Charlie. They expanded during the 50’s and 60’s and it was passed down to there son Ray. Ray died of a heart attack and it was then ran by his son/stepson? Ralph. This is when the business started to go downhill. He ran it down to the point where he had to sell it to a couple of brothers (sorry I can’t remember their names) and they in turn ran it further down until it closed in the late 1980’s. The place had around four different chefs and a full time baker named Sam. I, as a kid used to help out in the early 70’s doing dishes and helping Sam in the bakery. My father passed back in 2001. It was a great place with great food and I have many memories of the people that worked there and the holiday dinners that I had there.

    Reply
    • 11. jack  |  May 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      I remember you…in fact went to school with you

      Reply
      • 12. jack  |  June 1, 2011 at 12:14 am

        And you are who?

    • 13. karyl Doscher  |  July 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      I remember your dad, he was a great guy and one of the best bosses i had. He made the group of us that worked there a team. I also have many happy memories of the times at Bronco Charlies. It taught me to work hard and to understand people, traits i took to my next career, selling nuclear electronics.
      Karyl McGeehan Doscher worked at BC from ’71 to ’76
      Does anyone remember the Professor, a customer that came in during the 70s?

      Reply
  • 14. Patricia D. Hilton  |  March 11, 2009 at 2:37 am

    My Mother worked for Bronco Charlies in the 50’s and 60’s. For anyone who wants to remember her name was Theresa Cuttler, she was a long time employee and when I was just a little girl, I met him on his 100th birthday. He tried to give me this large jar full of pennies but Mom said no – found out later that it was his “Indian Head Penny” collection. I am very sad to see that this wonderful restaurant that brought people in from all over is in such disrepair – I hope that someone takes an interest and at least perserves the original log cabin built by Bronco Charlie himself.

    Reply
  • 15. CP  |  April 28, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    THey knocked it down today :0(

    Reply
  • 16. Dennis  |  May 3, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    I worked at Bronco Charlies in 68-71 in the original Log Cabin as it was known as a busboy while attending College. It was a great place . I remember Mrs Marx and her first husband, who worked in the laundry room.It was always the busiest on Mothers Day. Sad that they did not at least keep the original Log Cabin part as i was told that was where the real Bronco Charlie first started his business,

    Reply
  • 17. David Hendrickson  |  May 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    My Dads uncle Ferdie Marx was the guy who purchased it from Bronco Charlie. My family was just talking about the place and the times back then.Sad to see history leave no mark.

    Reply
  • 18. Ken  |  July 24, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I worked as a busboy in the mid 70s and graduated from the buffet to the log cabin. It is ashame that Dowling did not find the resources to preserve Bronco Charlie’s as a landmark or find a use for it. To see it torn down is a very sad thing. I think there are many of us, both employees and patrons who will fondly remember the restaurant and wish something more could have been done to prevent the tragedy.

    Reply
  • 19. AJ  |  September 30, 2009 at 3:07 am

    If you had seen the inside of what was left of the building, you would understand why it had to be torn down.

    There are a lot of great memories here though. I invite all of you to visit the history section on the Oakdale website and add your memories to the section on Broncho Charlie Miller and Bronco Charlie’s Restaurant.

    Reply
    • 20. Patricia Cuttler  |  August 27, 2010 at 1:23 am

      I saw pictures that were heartbreaking. How very sad that no one took an interest. I can still see the long lines out into the parking lot in my mind. I have a great picture of my Mom outside the door leading into the cabin. I am glad to know that there is this group of folks that have banned together with their great memories;

      Reply
  • 21. George Kunschman  |  May 15, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    My father also worked there as a waiter. His name was Emil. Maybe someone will remember him.

    Reply
    • 22. Patricia Cuttler  |  August 27, 2010 at 1:18 am

      I remember your father very well. We probably know each other as well. My mother was “Terry” we lived in Oakdale and she worked there as a waitress for many yrs at the same time your father did. She passed away in 1966.

      Reply
      • 23. George Kunschman  |  October 11, 2010 at 7:07 pm

        Patricia,
        Funny you should write now. i just returned from my father’s hometown in Germany! That put me in the mood to go through my parents photo’s. I found some from when my father retired from the restaurant.
        If you are on fb, send me a email & I’ll send you some copies of the pictures. I think I seen one with a name Terry on it.

      • 24. Patricia Cuttler  |  January 12, 2011 at 12:40 am

        Wow, I hadn’t ck’d the website lately, so glad for your response! I know that they were good friends and your Dad came by on the days that he worked to have some coffee and just chat before the chaos of the job began. Your Dad and all of the staff worked so hard for so little in those days, thank goodness that people were more generous with tipping in those days. I remember one mothers day my mom coming home with $100 in tips! Amazing when you realize that this was in the 1950’s. I think I req’d friend on fb on your site, if I got the wrong one I am on as Patricia Hilton

  • 25. Jack Muller  |  June 5, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I remember your father Emil. My mother, brother and I used to eat there in the Log Cabin. If I remember it was the late 60’s and he would almost always work the Log Cabin. As a matter of fact, I seem to remember my father always sitting us at one of your fathers tables if he was working. Your father was a real nice man and real friendly.

    Reply
  • 26. Jack Muller  |  June 5, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Does anyone remember a busboy that worked there in the early to mid 70’s that they called “runner”? Tall, blond curly hair? He worked there at the time another busboy had a car accident and was paralyized? I have always wondered what became of them.

    Reply
  • 27. Mike  |  August 4, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I worked at Bronco Charlies from 1968 to 1978. I am the “runner”. I knew Emil and Jack Muller the manager. Jack Muller treated me great. I loved working for him and when he worked at other places later I always visited him until he moved to Florida.I don’t remember a busboy being paralized in a car accident.

    Reply
    • 28. George Kunschman  |  October 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm

      Mike,
      Nice to hear you remembering my father. I have some pictures from my fathers retirement with the name Jackie Miller written on the back, is that who you were speaking of?

      Reply
      • 29. Jack  |  October 12, 2010 at 12:18 am

        George, I would like you to send me those pic’s. I am Jack’s son. Mike, sorry I addressed you as George in the last post.
        George, was your father Emil? My father so respected him. Please post. I was young but I can remember a few things.

      • 30. Mike  |  October 24, 2010 at 6:37 pm

        I think the pictures must have meant Jackie Muller. I got along well with Emil because my first name is also Emil and we were the only Emils that worked there. (Even though I used Mike my middle name)

    • 31. Jack  |  October 12, 2010 at 12:25 am

      Mile, got confused. Sorry, it is you that ran the food between the cabin and the west room. Thanks for saying how my father treated you. He felt that you where family. I felt that same way. Heck, I was a pain in the butt for all of you while I got in the way in the kitchen.

      Reply
      • 32. Mike  |  October 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm

        hi,
        I ran all the food from the kitchen to the West Room, Cabin, Lounge, Bar, and the upstairs if it was open for holidays. What a great job. I got great food and tips from all the waitors and waitresses, If I helped Jack with a wedding or party, he would also tip me.

    • 33. karyl Doscher  |  July 20, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Boy, am i happy i found this website. I remember our days and the great fun we had. I worked at there from ’71 to ’76 and then moved to CT. I always wanted to try to set up a reunion so we could talk about the old days. My name is Karyl McGeehan Doscher, do you remember me. Do you know where Mary and the blond waitress are today?

      Reply
  • 34. Bob M  |  September 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I used to go with my wife in the 70’s. We were a young 20 something married couple. It was a long drive from Huntington but we used to go now and then. I always remembered those ceramic mushrooms that were between the booths. Sorry to hear it is now gone.

    Reply
  • 35. George Kunschman  |  October 12, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Jack Muller,

    Please contact me at sanfordfl.53@gmail.com about pictures.

    George

    Reply
  • 36. Gretchen Van Tassel  |  October 10, 2011 at 12:21 am

    In 1957, when I was about to turn seven years old, I had a big choice to make. I could either have a birthday party, or, I could invite one special friend out to any restaurant of my choosing. My choice? No contest! I took my “boyfriend”, Peter Leis, out to Bronco Charley’s. My father said we could order whatever we wanted. I remember it well. I had lobster….Peter, a hamburger. (Cheap date!)

    How sad that it’s gone.

    Reply
  • 37. Len  |  January 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    I remember the original log cabin and the addition. We ate there many times when I was a kid and I have very fond memories of it.

    Reply
  • 38. PAT BRIMM  |  April 7, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I remember it was quite a drive from Hicksville…but well worth it.
    Does anyone have a menu to share? In those days, there were several courses included in the price, as I recall.

    Reply
  • 39. Mike Kelly  |  July 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    anyone remember the ingredients for
    Bronco Charlies house salad dressing?

    Reply
  • 40. karyl Doscher  |  July 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    I still have a book of matches, i wish i had a menu.

    Reply

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