Earlier this summer, this column was devoted to remembering things that used to be part of our lives in this area, but are not there anymore. We asked for some of your memories and got a nice response. So here we go again.
Dennis Smith remembers Two Guys department store, Verona Bowling Lanes, the Charcoal Pit, Bonanza restaurant on Tilton Road and the Mr. Big Store, also on Tilton Road.
Lorraine Shutz lists Blatt's, Garwood Mills, Million Dollar Pier, Gracie's Little Belmont, Delaware Sub Shop, Club Harlem, the Atlantic City High School at the monument, Atlantic City's First High School (now Central Junior High), Little John's Club (a former church at the corner of Tennessee and Pacific) and the Marlboro-Blenheim and Ambassador hotels.
In Ocean City, Stainton’s Department Store is now Stainton’s Gallery, the Biscayne Hotel is now Biscayne Suites, Selvagn’s Pharmacy is now Ocean Pharmacy and Watson’s Restaurant is now Watson’s Regency Hotel.
If you wanted a little excitement, you’d ride the Stainton’s elevator. And, at Selvagn’s, you might have been waited on by future movie star and princess, Grace Kelly.
Kathy and Geralyn Brunetti remember their father’s Southside Seafood Kitchen at 40th and West Avenue in Ocean City; also, the Ninth Street firehouse on Asbury Avenue.
The current bus station was at one time the train station. The tracks ran down Haven Avenue. Kathy’s father-in-law owned one of the clam houses – Lawrence Seafood – on Yacht Avenue in Somers Point.
John Bissell remembers Ernie’s Barber Shop on Asbury Avenue, home of the flattop; Leon's Men’s Store on Asbury; the Surf Theatre, for first-run horror movies; Convention Hall on the Boardwalk at Sixth Street for summer dances and indoor hoops in winter; the Boxwood Restaurant; Abbott's Boat Builders; and Hendershott’s at First and Atlantic. For night life before going to The Dunes. There was Mother’s and The Attic.
Pat Dougherty grew up in Atlantic City. She can remember Dante Hall, next to St Michael’s, where they played basketball weekly– it’s now a theatre; the Diving Horse on Steel Pier; and the Haunted House Bar.
Steve Warnalis of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., remembers the Smuggler's Shop with the Iron Mike diving suit and the whale jaw bone in the back of the store, located where the current Old Salt is, 1312 Boardwalk.
Author and columnist Joe Wilkins remembers Carson’s Triangle restaurant in Atlantic City, Mike Trench’s Neptune Inn, Angelo’s Barbershop, Nick Tally’s Musical Bar, The 500 Club, Sapp’s Fried Chicken, Kornblau’s Restaurant, Saul Bogatin’s bar; Red Klotz’s; Globe Burlesque, The Great Josh’s, Manny Solomon’s Midtown, Teddy’s West End Lounge, Tarsitano’s Drug Store, Holy Spirit on Massachusetts Avenue, St. Nicholas Grammar School, the Jewish Community Center on Virginia Avenue, Blatt’s Department Store, Schultz’s Men’s Store, Brigantine’s Seahorse Pier, Fedullo’s Pier, the Old Brigantine Bridge, the Circle Bar, and the Rum Point Pub.
Some things are around in a different form.
French Real Estate and Hager Real Estate in Ocean City have both merged with other real estate companies. The Strand, now a multiplex, was a magnificent theatre giving you the feel of walking a Hollywood red carpet as you went up the elevated foyer lined with large photos of the day’s top movie stars.
The Wesley Avenue School in Ocean City is now a park and the Central Avenue School is the Ocean City Police Station. WSLT Radio, which no longer exists, was on Asbury near 10th. The license was transferred to WIBG, which operates it on 1020 instead of the original 1520.
Asbury Avenue in Ocean City also had Talese’s Dress Shop; Essig’s Restaurant, caddy-corner from City Hall; the Getzke’s Sportsworld Ltd.; Ed Cornman’s; Phil Turner’s; Chic’s Decorators; Scott Paper; Cerruti’s Beauty Shop; Brownlee’s Furniture; Druck Pontiac-Cadillac, and the Dairy Mart at 6th Street.
There were a lot of delis – Lil and Fred’s, Edna’s; John Ford’s, Dill’s, and Tom’s Deli, where the real Tom Williams served lunch to the town, complete with trivia questions and the latest news about the Red Sox.
Tony Blum has fond memories of Zaberer’s Restaurant and the legendary clubs, from Tony Mart’s to Bayshore’s to the Dunes and Mother’s. He is obviously a man about town.
Mike O’Brien mentioned Sutor's Point Pub in Somers Point, Jamesway on New Road, Grant’s and Roy Rogers in Somers Point, Boston Pizza and I-HOP in Northfield, Perkins at New Road and Groveland, Somers Point, Rugby Inn in Northfield, Schooner’s Restaurant and Lounge and Point Bowling Lanes in Somers Point, The Mediterranean Lounge onMacArthur Boulevard in Somers Point, and CenterPoint Deli onTilton Road in Northfield.
Carl Price worked at Charcoal Pit. He also remembers Lenny’s Subs, Giberson’s Diner (where his parents met), Kerstetter’s Ice Cream and Almo Swim Club.
Pat Rahn loved the giant sugar cookies at Simms Restaurant on the Ocean City Boardwalk, Lifeguard Balls in the summer, waitressing at Hogate’s, the Old Lifeguard Headquarters at 10th Street, Bernie’s Deli, Breckley’s gas station in the Gardens, and Downey’s at First and Asbury, which later became Lovette’s.
Susan Rumer Peifer is from Ocean City. She loved the diner on the alley between West and Asbury on Ninth Street. She says they made the best apple dumplings with vanilla cream sauce. She ate at Essig's often; Irene Essig was her cousin.
She used to walk every day from St. Augustine's School to her mom's beauty shop (Cerruti's) at 7th and Asbury, stopping at Frank and Eddie’s for a soda. Cerruti's has been located at 1019 West Ave. for years.
How about the 12th Street Bowling Lanes, Hughes Pharmacy on 8th Street, Knight’s Pharmacy, Carew’s Market, the Seaside Bathhouse on the Boardwalk, Mangold’s Studebaker, Plantation Kitchen, Anchor N’ Point, Forest Laundry, Iggy’s Café, Kaj’s Bakery, and D. Allen Stretch Realty, which is survived only by the hobby horse at 8th and Ocean.
Wes’ Novelties was a family run business on Atlantic Avenue that was like an early Wawa. Glenn’s Toy Store was a kids’ destination on the Boardwalk. You could get takeout dinners at Campbell’s Seafood or Hickman’s Seafood, and food was also available at Booker’s and The Crosstown. Visitors could stay at the Southern Hotel, Strand Hotel, Coast Guard Manor, Delaware Hotel, Oceanic Hotel, Jernee Manor, Alvyn Hotel or Breaker’s Hotel.
There was the Youth Center, where Ocean City High School is now, which became the Tennis Club during the summer; the World War II fighter plane on display at the Ocean City Airport, and the “Colored Beach,” something we are glad has disappeared, between 5th & 6th streets.
When we walk, drive or bike around the area in 2013 we see hundreds of places that make this a special place. Those who have a long history can still see in their minds places that were special to them that are not there anymore.
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Words of Wisdom: “Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can't take it in all at once.”
– Audrey Hepburn, actress
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