E. Bartley Green, whose Towson luncheonette fed two generations of lawyers, judges, detectives, police officers, politicians, bankers and journalists, died Monday of a massive heart attack at St. Joseph Hospital. The longtime Lutherville resident was 77.
Mr. Green sold the Towson House restaurant at 42 W. Chesapeake Ave. late last year after operating the popular eatery and gathering place for 40 years.
"I've known Bart for 35 years," said Ronald Emmons, president of Towson Stationers Inc. "Almost every morning for 33 years at 6:15, I've arrived there for breakfast. The place is from a bygone era. Everyone sits in the same seats and the waitresses know everyone and what they like to eat.
"Even though Towson got to be a big town, the Towson House still retained a small town, Read's drugstore feel to it," he said.
Attorney Richard W. Carrell said, "It was a real institution, and you could go in there and always find someone to talk to."
Mr. Green grew up in Towson on Linden Terrace and was a 1934 graduate of Calvert Hall College. During the 1930s, he sold real estate until World War II when he went to work for Bendix Radio. After the war, he was a bartender at Jackson's Beach Club in Ocean City before buying the Towson restaurant in 1953.
"He used to say that in the beginning, he was 'the chief cook and bottle-washer,' " said his sister-in-law, Valerie Green of Riderwood.
Shirley Davis, 58, a cook at the Towson House, said: "He was like a father to me and had good taste in food and desserts. He very seldom got angry and only hollered at me once in nearly 40 years."
The restaurant was known for its Bart Burger, named after the owner and said to be flavored with spices that he added, and for its soups, milkshakes and homemade desserts.
"It was a place that made no pretense," said the sister-in-law. "People could come in eat and relax and enjoy the newspaper."
Mr. Green said in an interview with The Sun last summer that he went into the restaurant business because he felt he was unemployable because he had narcolepsy, a disease whose victims may fall asleep at any moment.
He was a collector of Dixieland and Big Band music and loved to dance, relatives said. He was a member of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, the St. George's Society and the Elks.
His wife, the former Ella Ferguson, whom he married in 1957, died in 1992.
He was a member of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church on Ware Avenue in Towson, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. today .
Other survivors include a sister, Laurie M. Green of Rodgers Forge; a brother, Robert J. Green of Riderwood; and nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made to the Baltimore Narcolepsy Association, c/o Nancy Goldblatt, 1620 Round Hill Road, Baltimore 21218.