Original Cookie’s Tap | Former Joseph Amber store.
“Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet,” went a famous American Tobacco Company ad campaign that began in 1928. Here, at 133 Commercial Street, you could do both. Joseph Botelho Amber (1859-1934), born on São Miguel in the Azores, ran a store that doubled as tobbacconist and confectionery, according to the recollection of Francis Joseph Alves.¹ The store was well enough established that it was among the officially designated places at which warrants for Town Meetings were posted.
Amber died in September 1934, at age 75. Three months later, Clara Cabral Cook (1900-1988) and Frank “Friday” Cook (1898-1946) purchased this property from his estate and applied for a common victualler’s license to sell wine and malt beverages “to be drunk on the premises.”² This was the beginning of Cookie’s Tap. “Friday” was an original member of the governing board of the Alcoholic Beverage Association of Provincetown, founded in 1936. But in 1940, the Cooks surprised friends and neighbors when they began tearing down this perfectly serviceable structure with the aim of replacing it. “They thought ‘Friday’ was a trifle balmy,” The Advocate reported.
Balmy like a fox, it turned out. The Cooks were setting the stage for a legend.
Joseph Botelho Amber’s tobacco and candy store, at the left in this undated and uncredited photo, was purchased in 1934 by Clara (Cabral) Cook and Frank “Friday” Cook to serve as Cookie’s Tap. From “Francis Joseph Alves,” in the Municipal Collection on the Provincetown History Preservation Project website, Page 5957.
Last updated on 24 January 2019.
133 Commercial Street on the Town Map.
Also at 133 Commercial Street:
Thumbnail image: Undated photo of the Joseph Amber store from “Francis Joseph Alves,” in the Municipal Collection on the Provincetown History Preservation Project website, Page 5957.
For further reading online
• Joseph Botelho Amber (1859-1934)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 135557544.
• Clara (Cabral) Cook (1900-1988)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 91341793.
• Frank “Friday” Cook (1898-1946)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 91341721.
¹ “Francis Joseph Alves,” in the Municipal Collection on the Provincetown History Preservation Project website, Page 5957.
² “Notice,” The Provincetown Advocate, 20 December 1934, Page 2.