Otto’s Restaurant, on Washington Boulevard, which opened in the early days of Harlem, was known for its fine dining and exceptional service. Naturally, Mothers Day made Otto’s a popular destination, as shown in this 1961 ad in the Forest Park Review.  

That same year, several other ads appealed to people looking for the perfect Mothers Day present. Trage Bros. featured gifts to “thrill mother,” including a Mobile Maid dishwasher, General Electric portable mixer, and a steam iron. Quitsch Florist, Roosevelt and Harlem, and Amlings, Desplaines and Roosevelt, both offered mother-daughter corsages. Stefan’s Bakery on Roosevelt Road offered bread or coffee cake for $1. Golden Drugs had a full selection of fresh Fannie May candies, 7200 Madison St., and Forest Park National’s ad focused on celebrating “the hard-working woman in our community on the many important civic projects in which they take leadership.”

Jill Wagner