DID YOU MENTION RESTAURANTS?
I Happen to Recall a Few Restaurants Myself
Let’s Look At The Short List
By Jack Coll
It seems I’ve been asked several times lately about Conshohocken restaurants. I’ve been asked, Do you remember May’s restaurant? Do you remember Fran and Bills Restaurant? Wasn’t there a Corropolese Bakery in Conshohocken?
Well, I was able to confirm a number of these establishments and their locations and thought I would go to my files and confirm a number of other restaurants and assorted food establishments in and around the boroughs of Conshohocken and West Conshohocken.
I thought I would just write out a list and I’m a hundred percent sure I’m not Likely to mention all of the restaurants to ever serve food in Conshohocken so feel free to post the one’s I’ve missed. Keep in mind that current restaurants doing business in the borough are not listed, perhaps that’s another list for another time, but for now here is a short list of perhaps forgotten restaurants.
So, I was wondering just how far back should I go, 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s? Ah let’s mix it up, I know the readers won’t remember some of the oldies but goodies but let’s put a few of them on the record!
Bolero’s Pizzeria was located at 824 Fayette Street during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Everyone still talks about his pizza’s but I always enjoyed the strombolis.
Cherry’s Market located for many years at 415 Spring Mill Avenue. William “Cherry” Wisniewski started business on Spring Mill Avenue in 1930. Four decades later in 1970 Mitch and Julia Sokolowski purchased Cherry’s and renamed it “Julia’s Market” until they retired in the early 1990’s. While they didn’t serve lunch and dinner, they certainly provided the provisions for neighborhood families.
Chippy’s Maple Grill located for many years at Sixth Avenue and Maple Street where he sold the usual beer, wines and liquors but he served up some great tasting sandwiches during the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Corropolese Bakery was located on Maple Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, 624 Maple, formerly Camarda’s Bakery, where Don Lens Trophies is currently located.
Don’s Cold Cuts once located at Eleventh Avenue and Wells Street offered up a great lunch back in the early 1970’s with everything from Hot Roast Beef sandwiches to Meatball Sandwiches.
Eberle’s Grocery Store, not a restaurant but worth mentioning as a lot of upper east side residents depended on Eberle’s for their lunch and dinner provisions. Eberle’s provided for residents in the 1950’s and in 1959 it became known as Lenzi’s Market before becoming Jim’s.
Elaine’s Restaurant was located at 11 East Hector Street during the 1970’s serving everything from hoagies to seafood. Rae’s Restaurant also shared time at 11 East Hector Street during the 1970’s as well.
Fran & Bill’s Restaurant was located at 106 Fayette Street and was a popular place to eat throughout the 1970’s. 106 Fayette Street has been a popular location over the years. Let’s see, Hyman Krayn had The Conshohocken Fruit Market during the 1940’s. Gordon’s Furniture Store called 106 home for a year or two in the early 1950’s. Then came Shirley’s Market, an extremely popular shopping spot in the 1950’s and 1960’s. during the 1930s Shirley’s market opened at 70 Fayette Street next door to what would become Herb Wilkinson’s Meat Provisions store once located at 72 Fayette Street. Some-time after Shirley’s opened the business was sold to Edward Weiner and his wife Shirley. Shortly after the purchase Ed and Shirley moved the business to 106 Fayette Street and kept the name Shirley’s Market.
Fran & Bill’s followed Shirley’s Market and in the late 1970’s it became Rita’s Restaurant. By the early 1980’s the Crab House Restaurant before Win Wah Chinese Restaurant took over 106 Fayette Street and has been doing business there since 1983.
Harvey’s, John J. Harvey ran several businesses from his 922 Maple Street location. Let’s see, he offered up Fish, Oysters and Clams, specialized in in the best Fried Oysters in Montgomery County. He operated his businesses from 922 Maple Street from the 1920’s I think until about 1939 or 1940. His biggest success in business was his Ice Cream business. At 50 cents a quart back in the 1920’s. He was also a contractor and Realtor having built dozens of houses throughout the borough. The building served as “Battery “C” headquarters during World War Two. 922 Maple Street has been an accountant’s office in recent years.
Holdens Restaurant was located just off the bridge at 72 Fayette Street back in the 1920’ and 1930’s.
Jules Lombardi’s Italian-American food I know, not exactly Conshohocken as they were located at 1316 Ridge Pike was a dinning hot-spot for more than four decades.
Marian’s Town Delicatessen once located at 113 Fayette street in the early 1970’s not only offered cold cuts but Kielbasa and all the usual sandwiches and specialized in party trays.
Jackie’s Place was once located at 932 East Hector Street and was owned and operated by Jackie Masters who offered up some great homemade soup, full breakfast seven days a week and all the hot and cold sandwiches you can think of back in the mid 1970’s.
Mary’s Restaurant was located at 41 Fayette Street during the late 1940’s and 1950’s. Mary was known for her home cooking and Oysters to go.
Montgomery House Musical Bar and Restaurant was located at the corner of Marble and Fayette Street’s I believe from the 1930’s-1950’s.
The Oyster House and Tavern located at Tenth Avenue and Spring Mill Avenuewas opened in 1988 by Joan Davis, daughter of Josephine Clapsaddle, who ran the first Original Oyster Hose located for many years on East First Avenue. Before Josephine ran the Oyster House at 17 East First Avenue it was known as Improto’s Oyster House.
Back in the 1940’s it was Pete’s Market specializing in Fresh Daily-Clams, Oysters, Fish and Fried Oysters. To continue on with the location at Tenth Avenue andSpring Mill Avenue. Ray Gravinese opened the Tavern in the late 1950’s and ran the business into the 1960’s. It later became Carol’s Beef & Ale in the 1970’s before returning the name to the Conshohocken Oyster House. And let’s not forget Tillies Place in the 1990’s.
Palermo’s Luncheonette once located at 822 Fayette Street, while they served the usual steaks, zeps and hamburgers not to mention their fabulous Breyers Ice Cream but they offered up the best ten cent cup of coffee in the borough during the 1940’s and early 1950’s.
People’s Sanitary Dairy was located for many years at Seventh Avenue and Hallowell Street. They were known for their milk, cream and ice cream.
Prosper War Wholesale Meats supplied most of the borough’s hotels and restaurants from his East Tenth Avenue location.
Sperlunto’s Bar was located at 729 East Hector Street for the better part of the 1950’s and 1960’s, from what I understand they served some pretty good Oysters and Steamed Clams.
Uncle Sam’s once located on Apple Street in West Conshohocken offered up drinks, food and live music back in the early 1970’s.
Vince’s Tavern once located at 1032 East Hector Street for a number of decades and perhaps one of the better attractions was their Friday and Saturday night dancing to live bands.
Wally’s Grille, Well what can we say about Wally’s Grille? I have a quick Wally’s story that I’ve told before. My wife Donna was born and partially raised in Conshohocken, and when we moved into Conshohocken back in the early 1970’s she kept pounding on me for the first few weeks we lived in the borough that we had to pick-up a couple of Wally’s cheesesteaks on a Friday night. So finally, I wandered down to Wally’s and noticed a long line extending from the back door of Wally’s that ran up Wells street nearly to Seventh Avenue. I hopped out of my car and went right around to the front door and into the bar. The man behind the bar said, “Can I help you?” Certainly, I said all happy that I was in the right place, “I’d like two cheesesteaks to-go, one with fried onions please.” The bartender says to me “Did you see that line along the side of the building?” to which I replied “certainly, what’s that all about.” He told me I needed to go back out the front door, walk along-side that long line running up Wells Street and get behind the line. I said “You’re kidding” He replied once you get to the front of the line you can tell them exactly what you want. I remembering thinking well, that’s a hell of a thing.
I thought of Donna jonesing for the cheesesteak so I waited in line and you know, the cheesesteaks didn’t disappoint!
Wally’s Grille was located at Sixth Avenue and Wells Street and according to my records they were there for more than half a century finally closing in 1994. I think I can speak for a generation of long-time Conshohocken residents; it would be nice to have just one more Wally’s cheesesteak!
Ye Olde Whitemarsh Inn at 640 Germantown Pike was a dating and drinking hot spot for many years.
Andy Matteucci Luncheonette Late 1940’s, 101 Fayette Street. After Andy it was Terminal Restaurant, and then there was Kelly’s Restaurant run by Fred and Linda, and let’s not forget about Jimmy John’s. And somewhere in between was your Neighborhood Video Store in the late 1980’s run by Brian Clark. And it all happened at 101 Fayette Street.
Bankers Tavern—Pre-Bankers Tavern located at Hector and Fayette Streets it was Pat Logan’s Bar back in the early 1940’s, the business then changed hands and named Bankers Tavern owned by August Hoffman and for many years he had Eddie and Gus at the taps. Within a few years ownership changed to S. Lontkowski who took over in the late 1940’s and several ownerships followed. The building was demolished in1976.
Bill Pounds Diner, later it was Carl’s Diner, and in 1969 Bill Danitz took over and turned it into a hot-spot until late 1990’s calling it the 401 Diner. It was followed by Evan who continued with the name 401 Restaurant. Tom Richter and his son ran the place for about five years before a group calling it Nirvana and I think, I said I think Izenberg’s Deli took over. (If any of this section of the article is wrong, I’m sure Bill Danitz will be on his computer to correct me and get me straightened out, Thanks Bill!)
Before this article gets to long let’s just give you a quick list of a number of other restaurants and food service establishments. The dates listed below along-side the names of the restaurant are approximate dates the businesses occupied the building.
Boccella’s Luncheonette 1970’s—521 Fayette Street
Bridge Café’ 1950’s 15 Fayette Street
Bridge Grille–Joseph Wyrwas was the proprietor, 1940’s and 1950’s—15-17 Fayette Street
Bruno’s Café’ 1940’s and 1950’s, then the Spring Mill Hotel, later Vince’s Tavern and then Jack’s Tavern run by Jack Staley
Butch’s Place Café’ 1940’s and 1950’s—33 West Elm Street, later it was Cassel’s Bar
Casinelli’s Tavern, later Casinelli’s Café’ 1950’s into the 1970’s—Seventh Avenue and Maple Street, was also the Luna Café’ in the 1940’s, later was the Anytime Saloon
Conshohocken Bakery 1970’s to present—79 Jones Street, run by Frank Manze and Dom Gambone
Conshohocken Café’ run by Louise Silk 1940’s—61 Fayette Street, later George’s Restaurant
Conshohocken Steak Shop 1950’s—53 Fayette Street
Carl’s Sandwich Shop 1940’s Second Avenue and Fayette Street. Then there was Jack’s
Luncheonette in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. Somewhere around the mid 1970’s it was Eddie’s Restaurant sometime in the late 1970’s it became Tony & Joe’s Pizzeria.
Crab House Restaurant 1980’s—106 Fayette Street.
Carr’s Tavern 1950’s Tenth Avenue and Fayette Street
Continental Café’ run by Joe Rath, 1940’s—Hector and Ash Streets
DeMarco’s Bar 1930’s through the 1950’s 120 Fayette Street
D’Lucce’s Ristorante 1990’s—Elm and Popular Streets—formerly Bruno’s
Don’s Cold Cuts 1970’s—Eleventh Avenue and Wells Street
El and Dot’s Luncheonette—El and Dot Smith—1950’s and 1960’s—21 West Elm Street
F. W. Woolworths lunch counter, early 1920’s-1960.
Fayette Meats Mid 1970’s through the mid 1990’s Mark Timinski
Fayette Street Grille 2000’s 308 Fayette Street
Fayette Tavern run by Matthew Malantonio 51 Fayette Street—late 1960’s and 1970’s
Filomena Laudato’s Bakery 1940’s and 1950’s—14-16 Fayette Street
Forrest Café’ 1940’s First Avenue and Forrest Street
Fran DeMarco’s Tavern 1970 and 1980’s 814 Fayette Street
Franks Café’ 1940’s and 1950’s 101 East Seventh Avenue
Frank’s Tavern 1970’s 22 West Elm Street
Frank Zadroga Grocery 1950’s and 1960’s—325 East Hector Street
Gold Seal Market 1970’s—64 Fayette Street
Herb Wilkinson Meat Provisions 1940’s through the 1960’s—72 Fayette Street
J & A Lounge 1970’s—103 spring Mill Avenue
James Blaszcak Restaurant, 1950’s—729 Hector Street also was Sperlunto’s Bar and later Tataro’s Tavern,
Jack’s Sea Food 1940’s—57 Fayette Street
John & Sophie’s Hot Dogs & Hamburgers 1940’s—42 Fayette Street
Kasopsky Groceries and Meats 1940’s 148 East Eighth Avenue, later it was Storti’s Grocery Store
Louie Nardi Grocery Store 1940’s and 1950’s Fourth Avenue and Maple Street
Marberger’s Market 1930’s—72 Fayette Street
Marian’s Town Delicatessen, 113 Fayette Street, well it started as Ray’s Appliance before turning into Marian’s, but then came, (I might not have them in the right order but here-goes.) There was the Downtown Café, in the in the 1970’s and 1980’s. At some point it became Rhapsody Fine Food, then there was the La Veranda Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge and then Jim Flannigan showed up to open the Boathouse and the rest is history. (I’m not sure I got all that right, feel free to correct me on any of the listings)
Martinelli Cafe’ 1940’s Fourth Avenue and Wood Street
Mary’s Restaurant run by Mary and Al Caramenico 1950’s—932 Hector Street
May’s Luncheonette 1960’ and 1970’s—42 Fayette Street
Nardi’s Store—Spring Mill Avenue at the bottom of Fourth Avenue
Nick Spur’s Sandwich Shop 1940’s and 1950’s Run by Nick Spuranto 29 Fayette Street
Nick and Mike’s 1970’s—59 Fayette Street
Nick Malantuono Grocery Store 1940’s and 1950’s—347 Spring Mill Avenue
Nino’s Pizzeria 1970’s—Second Avenue and Fayette Street (Currently Tony & Joes)
Marge’s Luncheonette 1940’s and 1950’s—1015 Hector Street
Mary Wiskoski Grocery 1940’s and 1950’s—300 East Elm Street
Mrs Frank Gravinese Lunch 1950’s –405 Maple Street, later Marcie’s Beauty Salon
Old Mansion House 1940’s-2000’s—641 Old Elm Street
O’Neill’s Café’ 1940’s—113 East Hector Street
Pete’s Hotel and Bar 1950’s—600 Hector Street later The Model “T” Inn 1980’s
Paciello’s Bar 1960’s—51 Fayette Street
Pandelis Gianioglov Lunch 1950’s—68 Fayette Street
Pasta Via 1990’s through the 2000’s 517 Fayette Street and 824 Fayette Street
Pater’s Bakery 1920’s through the 1950’s 38 Fayette Street
Perfection Bakery 1950’s 75 Fayette Street
Ralph Altopiedi Groceries and Meats 1940’s and 1950’s Fourth Avenue and Maple Street
Ralph’s Luncheonette 1950’s and 1960’s 131 West Fifth Avenue
Ristorante D’Lucce’s Fine Food and Spirts 1990’s—Elm and Popular Streets
Rita’s Luncheonette Early 1950’s, later Fred’s Luncheonette—701 Spring Mill Avenue
Sam’s Steak Shop 1940’s—53 Fayette Street
Spamps Restaurant 2000’s—First and Harry—later Lucky Dog, and then Daniels
Shakey’s Luncheonette—1940’s and 1950’s
Stanley Lontkowski Restaurant late 1940’s through the early 1950’s—58 Fayette Street
Tommy Kowolkowski 820 Fayette Street
The Spot then located at 30 Fayette Street in the 1940’s, later moved to Second Avenue and Fayette Street
Toles Grocery Store 1910’s and 1920’s Hector and Cherry Streets
Toto’s Market 1960’s Fourth Avenue and Maple Street
Young’s Meat Market 1970’s—114 Fayette Street
Village Tavern , 800 Spring Mill Avenue, I have John Zoltek as the proprietor back in the 1940’s and 1950’s, it continued as the Village Tavern into the 1980’s, then came Cool Breeze Café’, Hideaway, Bonkers Comedy Club, Funny Bones, and currently Coyote Crossing
521 Steak Shop Late 1940’s—521 Fayette Street, followed by Royal’s Luncheonette in the 1950’s, then came Boccella’s Restaurant followed by the Conshohocken Café’ and finally the ever popular Brunch.
822 Fayette Street, well, it’s a long list in no particular order so here goes: Ann’s Luncheonette—Perseo’s Lunch—DeMarco’s Tavern—Al’s Uptown Tavern—DeMedio’s Tavern
8 East First Avenue Through the years in no particular order: Bobby’s Steaks—Storti’s Saloon—Toad’s—8 EAST—Southern Cross
Sixth Avenue and Maple Street man there were a lot of good deli’s on that corner over the years, I don’t know if I got all of them but here goes: Angelo D’Alessandro’s Meats and groceries, 1940’s—J. D.’s Cold Cuts, 1960’s and 1970’s— Nad’s Corner Deli 1988-early 1990’s-6th and Maple Deli, Italian Market Deli–Frank and Art Vermuth, 1980’s—Mike Leonard’s Sports Deli 1990’s, and I sure I missed a few in there so feel free to comment.
Maple and Elm Streets, well, there was Settimo Fabiani’s Tap Room in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, I think the New Matsy Tavern followed, sometime in the late 1950’s came Pat’s Bar and somewhere around 2009 Guppy’s Good Times took over the popular corner.
A few we might have missed in Connaughtown including the Connaughtown Curve Inn run by Ralph Sperlunto in the early 1960’s. Then there was Helen’s Luncheonette Light in the early 1950’s.
Let’s visit some of the past restaurants/bars and food outlets in West Conshohocken, you’re not likely to remember a few of these:
McLaughlin’s Shamrock Hotel, Ford and Front Streets, also “G” Bridgewater Inn, and later Tara’s Food & Spirits followed by a number of other establishments including Jasper’s West.
Bar Harbor Bar Pizza 116 Ford Street—1990’s
Duchinski Luncheonette—1950’s—117 Ford Street
Rose Siuchta’s Luncheonette 1950’s—118 Ford Street
McGuire’s Tavern, a West Conshohocken staple for more than a century—120 Ford Street, currently the Gypsy Saloon
Billy Cunningham’s Court, Front Street 1990’s
Richie’s Steak Shop, formerly Al & Kay’s—120 Ford Street
West Side Market—9 Front Street
Florence Williams Restaurant 1950’s—837 Ford Street
Muzzy Lunch 1950’s—106 Front Street
J & R’s Friendly Market 1980’s—109 Front Street
Alex Jost Hotel 1950’s—Balligomingo Road
Keystone Hotel 1950’s—Balligomingo Road
Balligomingo Inn 1970’s—Balligomingo Road
Pastino’s Deli Front Street 1970’s
Wyrembek Groceries 1940’s—1960’s
Mikes Tankard Inn 1980’s—140 Moorehead Avenue, later Big Fish, and Bergey’s
Vic’s Mahogany Rail 1950’s
And just a few more memorable restaurants:
S. C. Tolands—Ridge Pike
The Wagon Wheel Inn Harmonville
Noah’s Ark/Club Rio on the river
Is this a good place to mention “7th Heaven” once located on Hector Street in Whitemarsh Township? Maybe not
Well, While I have an extensive file on the borough’s restaurants that goes back more than a century, I’m sure we missed one or two eating establishments. Recognizing we could go on and on we thought we would let our readers post restaurants that you might recall. A reminder that the dates listed are not exact, but gives you an idea as to when they operated.
I can tell you that we here at Conshystuff have visited most if not all the current restaurants in the Conshohocken’s and perhaps in a future restaurant article we’ll give you a list of today’s Conshohocken restaurants, and perhaps a few reviews.
I would also like to point out our advertisers, We here at Conshystuff only advertise businesses that are professionals at what they do, we personally have used advertisers from our site when we have been in need for their services.
Thanks for spending time with Conshystuff.