- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) - An upstate New York tavern owner who gained fame for serving free Sunday meals at his biker bar for more than three decades has died.

According to an obituary posted on the Glenville Funeral Home’s website, Donald Birch died Tuesday at his home. He was 79. A cause of death wasn’t given.

Birch was an engine repair shop owner and Harley-Davidson-riding motorcycle enthusiast who opened the Saw Mill Tavern in a blue-collar Schenectady neighborhood in the late 1970s. In 1980, he began offering free Sunday buffets for his customers and needy residents of a city hit hard by job losses at the local General Election operations.

The free hot meals continued until March 2011, when the effects of the recession took a toll on the business at his biker-friendly corner bar.

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