Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bungalow Bar

Location:   Four of the Five Boroughs
Year:   1940s-1960s

Bungalow Bar, founded by a Greek immigrant family, was a brand of ice cream sold from trucks to consumers --- mostly children --- on the streets in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens Staten Island and The Bronx, as well as in Yonkers and Nassau County during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. 

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. Good Humor's trucks appeared larger, more angular, and more modern. 

Perhaps for this reason, Bungalow Bar suffered from a terrible --- and completely undeserved --- reputation among children, who believed the product inferior. This reputation was not helped by Bungalow Bar's prices which were half of Good Humor's. Children mocked Bungalow Bar with a rhyme that had many neighborhood variations:
Bungalow Bar
Tastes like tar
Put it in a jar

And throw it far
in Flatbush, Brooklyn; and
Bungalow Bar
Tastes like tar
The more you eat

The sicker you are
in Queens; and another, from the Bushwick section of Brooklyn:
Bungalow Bar
Tastes like tar
Take a bite

And spit it far

Bungalow Bar, just like Good Humor, went out of business when the price of gasoline rose dramatically in 1973. Without a national presence in stores, Bungalow Bar vanished completely.

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