I suppose anyone who ever met Paul Schulte would have to have at least one story about him. My first recollections of him were when I was very small. Back then taverns were family gathering places especially on a Sunday or Saturday afternoon. Paul Schulte's Tavern also known as "Schultzee's" and later on after 1955 as Schulte's Stable was just such a place.
The kids would play shuffleboard, the jukebox ( 6 plays for a Quarter ), pinball games or sometimes just play outside while the parents socialized. Bartender's would often fix us kids 7 Up with a maraschino cherry in it "on the house" .
Though my parent's usually would patronize Johnny & Bonnie Mehan's Tavern over in Section one, they also would go into Schulte's too. All the firemen and women did. Back then the major social conduit was membership in The Mastic Beach Fire Department. My father was on the emergency squad and ambulance, my mother was in the Ladies Auxiliary.
In town since 1925, Paul Schulte was one of the original members of MBFD and in fact before they had an official firehouse Schulte's was where the Fire Department met! Paul's Tavern would also have live bands in the late'30's and '40's. Paul recalls the Joseph Titmus 8 piece orchestra playing there in a news article below. To borrow a bit from the old song, "There was a hot time in the "new" town tonight"
I recall almost being a bit frightened by him because of his enormous size. He would sit at his table with his Bavarian hat on and sometimes just stare off into space. Probably remembering the good old days. I hear he loved little kids. I just think he enjoyed people in general and good times. I read once where he and Willy Schluder (Knapp's Caretaker) were having a little too much fun once and were stopped by a Patchogue patrolman. Willie was driving or should I say trying to drive.They spent the night as guests of the Village Of Patchogue.
His son Paul Jr. ran his business in the early 50's and both men passed away in the 1950's. Sr. passing quietly at home and Paul Jr. having a heart attack in the tavern, collapsing under his table. My father who was on the Fire Dept. Emergency Squad answered that call. I heard it took a lot of men to carry him out. As I've heard all types of estimates on his weight. I just wish they were still around to tell the stories, they must of known about the Roaring Twenties, & Thirties, in Mastic Beach.
Paul Srs. daughter Friede Spiess, took over managing the Tavern and it was renamed Schulte's Stable. In the late '50's his granddaughters, Greta and Linda worked there. Schulte's brought in live bands again. At first they were country and western, but soon Greta and Linda had Rock and Roll going on. Greta took over the place in 1963 and ran it until the mid 1990's. In the winter time around 1959 Doug Percoco and I would sit outside on the steps of The Smith Fish Market, right by the backroom window and listen and look in there. In the summertime hot cars with flames, skirts and connie kits would line the whole town as Schulte's Stable & The Beachcomber Tavern across the street, would pack them in. In a few years we would be on that stage in our group "The Islanders" along with Adolph Almasy, Billy Clausing, Pete Morano, and Frankie O'Shea. Though everyone knew it was originally a real horse stable, little did I know then that Schulte's backroom actually came from the Knapp Estate.*
*That was what I was originally told , but
since then I have contacted Greta Tucker and she has corrrected
me. She said only the house next to the Stable came from the Knapp
Estate. The stable came from Eugenie Smith's Estate.
Here is a newspaper article from June of
1949 where his honor The Mayor Of Mastic Beach looks back at the
good old days.