Bob Tomasino, Oil Can Harry’s Owner, to be Commemorated in January

oil can harrys
Bob Tomasino
A ceremony will be held in January to celebrate the life of Bob Tomasino, a longtime supporter of the gay community in Los Angeles who owned Oil Can Harry’s in Studio City.

Tomasino, 66, was killed in a car crash not far from his Lake Balboa residence in the early hours of Nov. 23 as he drove home from the country and Western-themed club, according to his husband, John Fagan.

Oil Can Harry’s, billed as the oldest gay bar west of the Mississippi, has been in business since the 1960s.

Tomasino hosted countless charities and benefits at his club. In 2007, the Christopher Street West Association honored Tomasino with its Sheldon Andelson Award for his support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
community.

Tomasino also operated the Country Dance Pavilion at the annual LA Pride Festival in West Hollywood.

Born in Rochester, N.Y., Tomasino moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970s, working as a buyer for Robinsons-May stores. He was the manager of Oil Can Harry’s before buying the venue in 2007 after the original owner’s death.

The club switched from disco to a country and western theme in the 1980s and has been used for film and video shoots. LeAnn Rimes recently shot scenes at the club.

No services have been announced, but a celebration of Tomasino’s life is planned for January.