Anyone who has ever gone to the now closed Chiodo’s Tavern in Homestead should remember a few things. One of the first, and most striking features of the bar was all the artifacts and bras hanging on the walls and ceiling. I can’t remember the year but I was there for first bra. Well, kind of. I was at the end of the bar one night when a young woman came between me and my buddy. Neither of us complained. She was trying to get the attention of Sam Chiodo who was at the other end. We just assumed that she was trying to get him to get a brew. What she really wanted was the bra hanging over us. It was her girlfriend’s bra. A friend of hers was so agape by all the items people donated to the owner, Joe Chiodo, that she wanted to leave something too. So, she went into the lady’s room and took it off. They came back a week latter and the girl tried to get it down so her friend could sign it. We asked the young lady if she was going to leave hers behind. No, she said. I am too small; my friend is a C-cup. And that was the start of the bra hanging at Chiodo’s.
I too left behind something at Chiodo’s. But not to worry, it wasn’t an undergarment. When Sam started to bring in the import beers in the early 1980’s he had no place to showcase them on the back bar. He built a set of shelving from beer cans and thin plywood just stacked on top of one another. The beer bottles weighted more than the shelving and the whole thing rocks as good a Joan Jett (who supposedly live in Homestead at one time). Partons would ask to see a bottle or two and the bartenders shook at the thought of getting one down for fear that the entire stack would come falling down on them. As much as I enjoyed watching all of this I felt bad for them. As I was taking wood shop at South Vo-Tech, I got a supply of cheery wood and made the bar a sturdy wood shelf unit that could take a largest beer bottles Europe sent over. I took good measurements but somehow the unit had to be lightly tapped (pounded with a hammer) into place. I don’t know how they got that out when the goods were auctioned off? I may never see that shelf again and I may never know who bought it but let be known that I made it for the bartenders of Chiodo’s.