A memorial service is being planned for Dick Calendo, a longtime East Dundee resident and bar owner who died unexpectedly July 31 at age 78.
“Everybody who knew him, loved him,” said Leo “Dog” Shales, who manages the downtown business at 302 N. River St. that bears Calendo’s name.
His cause of death was a blood clot issue, his family said.
Tony Calendo said he will take over operations of the bar in partnership with his sisters, Lisa Pena and Jennifer Calendo, who want to keep the business going. Dick Calendo owned the building in which the business and four upstairs apartment are located.
Calendo was born in Streamwood and graduated from Elgin High School. Over the years, his father owned several buildings and apartment properties in the Dundee and Elgin area, Tony Calendo said.
“He knew a lot of people in the bar industry,” he said.
According to a 2007 story in The Courier-News, Calendo bought the building in which Calendo’s is located in 1975. The bar there at the time was called The Village Inn, which Lefty and Ann Hargus started about four decades earlier.
Two other families ran the bar between 1981 and 2007, when Calendo decided to take it over and rechristen it with his own name.
The building its in dates back to 1875 and at one time it contained a hotel in addition to a bar. In 2007, Calendo told the Courier there were stories that professional baseball players would frequent the location in the 1920s and 1930s, perhaps drawn by the fact that a brothel operated out of the hotel.
“They couldn’t wait to get the game over so they could hop on the train and go to Dundee,” Calendo said at the time.
Shales moved over to Calendo’s after working for the late Thom McNamee, who owned Bandito Barney’s Beach Club and Rose O’Hare’s Public House, both in East Dundee, until his death in 2009.
“Calendo’s has always been known as a shot and a beer joint and part of the local scene,” Shales said. “I used to say working for Tom was like working for my brother. Working for Richard has been like working for my father.”
Mike Danahey is a freelance reporter for The Courier-News.
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