Richard Clarke Comollo, proprietor of Garlic John's

Richard Clarke Comollo

9/3/1930 - 7/22/2020

Richard Died just shy of his 90th Birthday

Predeceased by a brother Robert Comollo, of Massapequa NY and a sister,  Joan Casey, of Cortland NY

Survived by his three children, Kerry McKinnon of Dorset VT, Keth Comollo, of Stuart FL and Clarke Comollo, of East Dorset VT, and 2 grandchildren, Kai and Ryder Comollo of Holliston, MA

Born in Massapequa NY. Dick went to the Northwood School in Lake Placid NY, where he excelled in hockey, was well known for his practical jokes, and learned to ski.

Dick did the NYTs’ crossword every day and was an avid reader.

Dick was a lifeguard at “Tobay Beach” for many years, and his love of the ocean and the natural world lasted his entire life, donating to many wildlife, ocean, and other non-for-profits

After graduation from “Northwood”. He then joined the Navy and was a navigator on the aircraft carrier USS Franklin Delano Roosevelt. After the Navy, he went to Hofstra University and was an English Major then went to work in the family meat market. He met his future wife Maureen Gallacher, and together they began a long career in the Bar and Restaurant business.  Starting with his managing “Peter’s Backyard”, a steak house in Greenwich Village, that “Comollo Meats” supplied. That gave him the expertise to open his own Steak House, “The Longhorn” in Rockville Ctr on Long Island. From there, a long run of successful Bars and Restaurants, “The Mug Ale House”, he then purchased the historic “Wantagh Hotel” and turned it into a successful operation. At the same time, he opened a live music and dance club, “The Back Room”, then he opens the “Tack Room Tavern” in Bethpage NY. After a devastating fire at the Hotel and tired of the grind they moved the family to Manchester Vermont. They bought the closed “Brass Key” and turned it into “Garlic John’s”. Hand grinding tomatoes for his sauce and importing high-quality meats, spices, Etc from NYC that couldn’t be found in VT at the time. From there he opened the “Down East Oyster Co.” in Rutland VT, then he purchased a 200-acre dilapidated farm and returned it to its original use as a successful horse farm, and raised horses, sheep, organic vegetables, and a multitude of feathered friends. Then he bought a bar in Poultney Vt and called it “Rag Time Tavern”. A lot of Dick’s success was due to his infectious personality and work ethic, he insisted on doing a lot of the menial chores himself,  dragging out the wooden “Duck Boards” from behind the bar and scrubbing them down with beach every morning. He retired in the late ’80s to Venice FL, and then, tired of the weather he moved to “Long Neck” DE. Where he resided until his death. Up until his dying days, he was always coming up with new business ideas.

Dick was a die-hard lifelong Republican, but one of the last things he said to me was. “I wanna live long enough to vote that moron Trump out of office".

Submitted by:

Clarke Comollo
[email protected]