Archive ID: 2021-003-1

Mendoza family gatherings and Loncar Tavern

Date Created: undated

Donor: Gil Mendoza

Media Type: Film/Video


Home movies of a Mendoza family gathering partially taken at Loncar’s Tap. Loncar’s was located at 92nd and Brandon in South Chicago. The bar and restaurant, which also hosted family events, were started by Croatian immigrants, Marko and Katie Loncar. As young people, Marko had emigrated from Mostar, Herzegovina and Katie from Brusane, Croatia. They married in Chicago in 1921 and had four children. Loncar’s, which opened in 1928, was remembered as a welcoming place for the diverse immigrant groups found in South Chicago. In an obituary, a grandson recalled gregarious Katie as joking that she survived Prohibition by “balancing a baby on her hip while making gin in the bathtub.” During World War II, the Loncars’ son Bob joined the Navy at 16 and patrolled Nagasaki Bay directly after the atomic bombing. Many neighborhood residents and customers were Mexican-American, and, in a 1948 Museum photo, Bob is pictured as a member of South Chicago’s Latin American Social Athletic Club. Bob, who ran Loncar’s until he retired in 2004, also sponsored many sporting, scout, and school activities in South Chicago. At his death in 2012, donations were requested for both Sacred Heart Croatian Church and nearby Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. This home movie is one of several donated by Gil Mendoza via Steven Walsh, director of the documentary “Southeast: a city within a city.”

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Activities/Celebrations   Buildings/Landmarks   Community Life   Family   Immigrant Experiences   Small Businesses   1950-1979   South Chicago   European Descent   Mexican-American   Film/Video