As Neal McPartlan learned from his parents – "my grandmother was a fantastic cook," Michael McPartlan said – he passed along his culinary knowledge to his employees. "To this day, I have cooks that worked at the tavern when they were young come and tell me, 'I learned more from working with your father than I learned from working anywhere else,' " said McPartlan.

Mr. McPartlan honed his chili and spaghetti sauce recipes to perfection, his son said. "He took great pride in that."

Mr. McPartlan, like his parents and siblings, was "a very, very hard-working man," said his son, noting that McPartlan's Corner is closed only on Christmas. "He was very devoted to the family business and the family in general and very good at what he did."

Mr. McPartlan met Nancy G. Roller when they were both 17. Her father, a bartender in the South Buffalo McPartlan's Corner, brought his three daughters to visit the McPartlan family's Crystal Beach cottage.

"My father said that within 24 hours of meeting her, he said, 'I want to marry you and spend the rest of my life with you.' My mother thought, 'This guy's crazy!' " said Michael McPartlan.

When they married on Oct. 9, 1977, some 500 people attended the ceremony and reception, their son said. "My grandfather knew everybody in South Buffalo, but had gotten to know a lot of people at the new location, too," said Michael McPartlan.