Before Nicolino’s Restaurant on Route 30 north of Amsterdam was Nicolino’s, the site used to be the home of a restaurant called Butch’s Drum. Why the name? “Butch” was Vernon (Butch) Robertshaw, an Amsterdam native born on the Fourth of July in 1907. After graduating from Amsterdam High School in 1924 he got a job as a dyer in the Bigelow Sanford rug mills and worked there for the next 30 years, until the company pulled out of Amsterdam.
Fortunately for Robertshaw, he was also a drummer, who had spent years of weekends playing with several local bands throughout the Capital District area. So when he lost his job in the rug mill in 1954, he opened up “Butch’s Drum,” which was actually a combination nightclub restaurant. The recipe for success worked quickly. With his own combo providing musical entertainment nightly, area folks began flocking to the new spot for dinner, dancing and drinks. Butch became almost as well-known for his infamous baked beans as he was for his drumming….
My complete birthday post for Butch Robertshaw will appear in the new second edition of A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam, NY Birthdays, which will be available before the 2016 Holiday season. I also distribute an Amsterdam, NY Birthday Blog Monthly Newsletter that includes the full birthday posts for three of the twenty-to-thirty people whose birthdays I recognize each month. Each newsletter also includes an Amsterdam Birthday Quiz that will test your knowledge and memory of people and events in your hometown.
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