First mapped in 1835, first paved in 1891 — Broadway was where Long Branch conducted commerce. Historically, the road was also called, the Eatontown and Seashore Turnpike, Main Street and Chelsea Road. The Long Branch Commission acquired Broadway in February 1874 for about $1,800.
Back in the glory days, Jacob Steinbach and his grand department store ruled the street, you could buy a car on Broadway, there were a few hotels, several drugstores, a dozen clothing stores, two theaters brought historic innovation and star power, there were numerous places to eat and shop, and City Hall was just up the road.
In sad decline for too many years, today most of lower Broadway building-wise has been removed from existence. Leveled flat in 2018. The foot of Broadway is mostly an empty slate — waiting for some TLC.
In good times the street was the city at its pinnacle. A point of top coastal business. Land where Long Branch “Entertained a Nation.” That’s a lot to live up to. “Redeveloping the neighborhood” was never going to be an easy job. But Broadway still has grit — only its lost stature awaits return. The following photo essay shows Broadway and its times. Enjoy and pray for a new Broadway:
Homestead Pharmacy on Broadway, 2019. Originally Britton’s Drug Store, Angelo Vasiliades assumed control in 1942. He renamed it and then built a new $140,000 building in 1954; he expanded again in 1964. He sold the business in 1972. Born in Greece, he was a 1930 graduate of the Columbia University College of Pharmacy. He died in June 1988.
Steinbach’s Department Store on Broadway is nothing but a shell after a major fire, January 1905. “One of the foremost department stores in the county,” according to the LB Daily Record.
Broadway and Second Avenue, 1950s.
The house of Haslam Slocum is moved from is former location at the corner of Broadway and Slocum Place, Long Branch Daily Record, July 1961. Slocum willed the 7-room home to the city. The structure was placed behind LB city hall for use by the City Clerk as municipal offices. The vacant land became Slocum Park.
The old Long Branch Banking Company building on Broadway and Branchport Avenue, 2019. Built in 1872, it later became the Central Jersey Bank & Trust Company and then a Bank of America branch. The building was donated to the city in 2019.
The Long Branch Trust Company Main Office on Broadway, 1961. Founded in 1886.
O’Connor’s Diner at Broadway and 7th Street, 1940s. Little Silver native Joseph O’Connor took over the business in 1956; he died in March 1969. Previously, it had been the Broadway Diner owned by Chicago native Bill Krzan who died in August 1951 having just celebrated 25 years in business.
The names of Nicholas and Peter Cammarano (sometimes Joseph Catalano) fill the local newspaper archives as to ownership and activity about a Broadway bar, tavern or grill — going back to 1937. The record is confusing. In later years, Marie and Michael Cammarano were the proprietors; she died in 2011 and he died in 1973. (Note: In 1954, according to the LB Daily Record, the Cammarano family was operating three city bars — on Broadway, Joline Avenue and Kensington Avenue. They also ran the Sportsmen’s Bar at Long Branch Stadium along the oceanfront). By 2000, the bar had closed and was replaced with Uptown Restaurant opened.
The Hyer & Flock funeral home on Broadway, opened in 1903. The partnership ended when Trevonion Hyer got sick in 1907; he died in 1911. John W. Flock then took full control — he had been in the undertaker’s business since 1896. In 1920, Flock also established the Woodbine Cemetery in Oceanport. John, Sr. was a prominent man – a former LB mayor and Monmouth County coroner. He also served on the board of directors of the NJ Trust Company, Monmouth Park and the LB Housing Authority. He died in 1952. John, Jr. took control in 1946 and ran the business until his death in 1997. Steven Lawson acquired the business in 2015.
West Motors on Broadway and Fourth Avenue ad. Long Branch Daily Record, 1940. It was housed in the C.W. Jones building which opened in 1938.
Broadway during Christmas season, 1940s.
Looking west on Broadway toward Five Corners, early 1900s.
Old New Jersey Trust Company of Long Branch Main Office on the corner of Broadway and Memorial Parkway, 2020. The bank opened in 1905.
Southside of Broadway, looking west, early 1900s.
Mario’s Restaurant at 574 Broadway, 1960s. Opened in 1930, the pizza was considered among “the city’s best.” The business closed in 1969.
The old Citizen’s National Bank at Broadway and Third Avenue, May 1972. The ornate stone bank building opened in March 1899 and closed amidst the Great Depression in December 1931.
Demolition of the old Citizen’s National Bank, December 1976. The city took possession of the building in a 1971 foreclosure.
Lenox Hotel (r) at the corner of Broadway and Ocean Avenue, early 1900s.
L.D. Edwards Company on lower Broadway. Aaron Edwards started the coal and lumber business and ran it with his brothers, operating from 1877 to 1909.
“Five Friends” outside Alps Candy Shop on Broadway, 1950s.
Ocean Park at the corner of Broadway and Ocean Avenue, 1910s. The 10-acre oceanfront park opened in 1905.
Long Branch Casino on the corner of Broadway and Ocean Avenue, 1910s.
J.J. Newberry, Co. store on Broadway, 1960s. When the store first opened in July 1939, it offered 27 shopping departments and a 50-foot luncheon counter — all staffed by 67 city employees.
J.J. Newberry front, 1939. John Roberts was the first manager. The store closed around 2001; today it’s a Family Dollar Store.
Competing theaters on Broadway: The Paramount (r) and The Strand (l), 1930s. The Paramount had previously been the Broadway Theatre (opened in 1912). Built by Walter Rosenberg (who later became Walter Reade), it was reopened in 1931 as Paramount and operated until Sept. 1959.
Seaboard Service Ice & Fuel Company at 400 Broadway, 1953.
All that remains of Long Branch radio days — the old station tower at 156 Broadway, 2019. Broadcasting started there in October 1960 as WRLB-FM 107.1 led by the Mazzacco family. The 265-foot antenna went up in 1974. In 1982, the company was sold for $534,000. The station changed names several times (Y-107, WMJY/107, WWUU/ You 107, Seaview 107, “The Breeze”) in the ensuring years and today operates as WWZY 107.1 The Boss.
C.B. & I.P. Reid Carriage Shop and Blacksmith on North Broadway. Long Branch Daily Record, April 1908. The business opened in 1877.
Chandler & Maps Lumber Yard at 70 South Broadway, 1908. Augustus Chandler and Thomas Maps started the landmark building business here in 1873.
Chandler & Maps front, 1973. Sidney Binder, a Long Branch CPA, bought the business in 1959. Richard Eisele was the longtime general manager there. C&M shut its doors forever in January 1991.
Broadway, 1905. James Birks ran the drug store at left until it closed in 1917.
5 Corners Broadway, 1934. At left is Anastasia’s Pharmacy, opened in 1926; damaged by fire in July 1969. Relocated to 120 Broadway, the drug store shut forever in 1976. Owner, Amerigo A. “Doc” Anastasia, was a longtime city pharmacist and city school board president. A graduate of the Columbia University College of Pharmacy, he had two city schools named for him. The city native died in May 1982.
City firefighters pack hose after battling fire on Lower Broadway, early 1900s.
Long Branch Masonic Club temple sketch proposal. LB Daily Record, June 1925. Located at 410 Broadway, the building cost $120,000; Leon Chubberly was the architect and Edward Schoenthaler was the builder. At the time, Dorman McFaddin was club president and Ralph Lum was Grand Master.
The new Long Branch Casino under construction, 1909. Built at the corner of Broadway and Ocean Avenue, the construction cost was $50,000.
Broadway looking west, 1903.
Busy Broadway days, 1950s.
All gone now — Lower Broadway, 2011.
F.W. Woolworth & Co. building on Broadway, 1950s. After 50 years of operations there, the “5¢ and 10¢ store” shut its doors in December 1959. Sol Grabelle, Ace Drug Store owner, bought the building then.
Sugar Bowl Candy Company at Broadway and Third Avenue, 1908. James and Peter Apostolakos ran the business. It closed in 1924
Steinbach’s Department Store on Broadway, 1905. The store was founded by brothers, John and Jacob, in 1873. By 1893, Jacob had assumed full control of the LB store and ran it until his death in 1933. Retail business stopped there in April 1942 and the US Signal Corps then leased the building for a couple of years.
Steinbach’s Department Store in ruins after major fire, 1905. It was rebuilt that same year. Owner Jacob Steinbach was born in Bohemia and moved to Long Branch in 1867. His first store was on Ocean Avenue.
Vogel’s Department Store on Broadway, 1940s. The business was acquired in 1944 by Abe and George Vogel, second generation furriers who learned the trade from their father, Israel Vogel, who first opened a Broadway shore in 1918. Vogel’s closed in 1975 and the building burned in a Feb. 1978 fire.
Ocean Hotel, early 1900s. Located at the corner of Broadway and Ocean Avenue, it first opened as “Cooper’s House” in 1832. The hotel continued to grow and change identities: it was the National House, the Continental Hotel and finally in 1872, the Ocean Hotel. The country’s largest hotel in its day, it closed in 1902. The city acquired the site in 1905 and turned it into Ocean Park and later Garfield Memorial Park.
Long Branch Speedway and Casino Annex, March 1937. View from the boardwalk on Lower Broadway.
US Post Office on Broadway in Long Branch, early 1900s. William W. Croxson was the first local postmaster from 1834-1846.
US Post Office on Broadway in Long Branch, 1883.
Long Branch McDonald’s undergoing a remodeling, 2021. The Broadway fast-food franchise was first opened in August 1983 by Ernie George, a former music teacher and professor in NYC. The New Orleans native died in May 1997. The renovated shop reopened in April 2021.
Ocean Park, 1909. An amazing look south from the corner of Ocean Avenue and Broadway.
Long Branch Free Public Library, 1940s. The Broadway building was designed by Edward Tilton (who was architect on over 100 US libraries). Opened in November 1920, it was built through a $30,000 grant from the Carnegie Corp., the last of its kind in the nation (which funded nearly 1,700 new libraries across the USA). The facility got a major $40,000 addition in 1962.
LB Public Library, 1940s. The city’s library association dates to 1878.
LB Public Library on Broadway sketch by Terry McCue, 1997. The East Long Branch Reading Room and Library Association was formed in 1878. By May 1880, Library Hall was built and dedicated.
LB Public Library on Broadway set to reopen after lowering COVID-19 protocols, May 2021.
Home of Edward R. Slocum on Broadway in 1868. Today, it’s the location of the city’s public library. Long Branch Daily Record, 1964.
Broadway at the turn of the century.
Brookdale Community College annex on Broadway, 2000s. The Long Branch Learning Center opened in 1980 at the site of the old Vogel’s building that was wrecked by fire in Feb. 1978. Monmouth County’s community college has its main campus in Lincroft.
The China Inn, 1964. The Broadway restaurant was opened in in 1960 and moved across the road in 1965. Jui Yung “Jimmy” Liu was the owner. The China native came to America in 1949.
Old Paramount Theater/Siperstein’s Paints building on Broadway being torn down, 2017.
Fabulous shot of Ocean Park fronting on Ocean Avenue, 1920s. From left: Garfield monument, bandstand and Casino Annex. All have been moved or wrecked.
Ocean Park at corner of Broadway and Ocean Avenue, 1905.
Casino Annex in Ocean Park, early 1900s. The majestic building at the corner of Broadway and Ocean avenue was lost in a June 1928 fire.
Casino Annex at Ocean Park, 1905. Built for $35,000.
Ocean Park, 1906. The city acquired the land for the park at a cost of just under $73,000 in May 1905.
Oliver Byron performance at Ocean Park Casino ad. Long Branch Daily Record, Sept. 1908.
Ocean Park, 1910s.
Ocean Park, 1910s. The city opened the 10-acre oceanfront park in 1905.
Casino bandstand in Ocean Park, early 1900s. It was 750-feet of prime oceanfront property.
Ocean Park band concert, 1911.
Ocean Park, early 1900s. The building (r) was known as the Casino Annex — it had been the Agricultural Hall at the Centennial Expo at Philadelphia in 1876, according to Entertaining a Nation.
New Long Branch Casino, 1910. At the corner of Broadway and Ocean Avenue. The building cost $50,000 and seated 3,000. Richard H. Hughes was the builder; it opened in 1906.
New Long Branch Casino (r) along Ocean Avenue in Ocean Park, 1910s. It was the “largest on the Jersey Coast.”
Long Branch Casino in Ocean Park, 1920s. The open-air arena was popular for its boxing matches in the 1910s, 20s and 30s.
Long Branch Casino in Ocean Park, 1920s.
New Long Branch Casino, 1909. Located in the 10-acre Ocean Park on the old Ocean Hotel property.
Long Branch Casino in Ocean Park, 1921. At the time of the fire in June 1928, the casino’s upper floor was leased by Daniel Maher and used for boxing and wrestling matches.
Ocean Park sketch proposal. Called “the beauty spot of the Jersey Shore,” by the Asbury Park Press, July 1906.
Tory’s Restaurant ad. APP, July 1927. Tory Kawamoto, a Japanese native who came to America in 1904, leased it for $1,500/year and ran a very popular eatery starting in 1925. It burned in a suspicious April 1929 fire. He operated another Tory’s Restaurant on Monmouth Road in WLB since 1924. Worried about his business and the WW II conflict, Tory committed suicide outside Hazard Hospital in October 1942.
Tory’s Restaurant, 1920s. Located at South Broadway and Ocean Avenue, the building was previously the Casino Annex and was owned by the city. Prior to Tory’s, the spot was the Ocean Club run by Robert J. Slater for many years.
Perry’s Bowling Center on Broadway, 1960s. James “Chitty” Perri opened his first bowling alley (and pool hall) on Morris Avenue in 1924 and moved the operation to Broadway in Sept. 1939, which included 8 lanes. A city native, he retired in 1966 and died in 1995. His son Steve, a decorated B-17 ball turret gunner in WW II, also ran the business.
Long Branch Police Department outside city hall, 2018. LBPD origins date to 1868 when Cornelius Van Deveer was appointed the first police marshal. Two years later, Henry Green was made the first chief marshal and paid $350/year. The first assignment for the LB police was to clean out a pig sty. The first police building was in the old City Hall on Broadway in 1891.
Christopher Columbus monument in Long Branch. The 6-foot statue is located in Slocum Park and was dedicated in October 1961. The marble statue cost $5,000 and was purchased in Carrera, Italy. Ralph Damiano chaired the monument committee.
Long Branch Daily Record headquarters on Broadway, 2010s. The city’s “hometown newspaper” was founded as a weekly in 1883 by Louis Bennett and Robert Stults. It went daily in May 1901. When the paper folded in October 1975, Walter B. Potter of Virginia was Publisher. The Slocum family were also owners (for 27 years). The paper’s longest serving publishers were the father-son duo, Edmund and Richard DeWitt, who ran things from 1929 to 1957.
Broadway looking east, 1940s.
Broadway postcard, 1915.
Broadway looking west, 1930s.
Broadway looking east, 1935.
Broadway looking west, 1939.
Lower Broadway, 1905.
Broadway, early 1900s.
Uptown Broadway near Bath and Norwood Avenues, 1920s.
Broadway looking west, 1910. (Raymond Storey Photo).
Broadway looking east, 1940s.
Garfield-Grant Hotel front at Broadway and 5th Avenue, 1930s. Today, the building houses businesses and courtrooms.
Corner of South Broadway and Ocean Avenue, 1978 (Dan Hennessey Photo). The spot had been the Wilson Hotel run by John W. Wilson who also owned the Lennox Hotel at that location.
“Broadway mean business” — back then in 1960s. At right is John’s Bargain Store which opened on Broadway in August 1960; Samuel Teicher owned the building.
Broadway and Third Avenue, 1912.
Broadway and Liberty Street, early 1900s.
North side of Lower Broadway, 1948.
Long Branch Saloon on Lower Broadway, early 1980s. In the late 1970s, the place was a go-go bar known as the “Bottom-of-the-Barrel.” The city “blighted” the area in 1984.
Lower Broadway in decline, late 1970s.
Lower Broadway aerial image looking east, 2018. Most of the old buildings have been demolished.
Lower Broadway buildings before demolition, 2015.
Lower Broadway, late 1970s. (Dan Hennessey Collection).
Lower Broadway, late 1970s. (Dan Hennessey Collection).
Proud old Lower Broadway buildings nearing their doom, 2017.
Lower Broadway — Five Points, early 1900s.
Long Branch-West Long Branch border line on Broadway, 1940s.
Washington Park on Upper Broadway, 1915.
Long Branch YMCA on Broadway, 1968. This local chapter was first organized in 1902, disband and was revived in 1927. Led by E.R. Slocum, the group acquired their Broadway property in 1937. In made a big addition in 1952. Later it become part of Seashore Day Camp.
Old Broadway Theater. Opened in June 1912
Paramount theater on Broadway, 1943. Built by Walter Reade and opened in 1912 and reconstructed in 1931; it closed in 1959. Used for decades as storage by Siperstein’s Paints, it was torn down in 2017.
Interior of Paramount Theatre on Broadway, 1931.
Citizens protest burlesque shows at Paramount Theatre on Broadway, 1953.
Siperstein’s Paint & Wallpaper store on Broadway. The family-owned business was started here in July 1962 by Larry Katz, a former Linden high school teacher. Nathan Siperstein opened the first of a 21-store chain in Jersey City in 1904. The LB business moved to Joline Avenue in 2005 into the old Brunswick Monmouth Lanes bowling alley and operates today as Sip’s Ace Paint & Hardware. Larry, who held a Master’s Degree in marketing from NYU and was known for his 60-hour work weeks, died in March 2014. Prior to Siperstein’s, Edward Odiotti had owned the West End Paint Co. there since 1950.
W.H. Woolley’s men’s-wear business: from left: Howard, Jr., Howard, Sr. and Bill Woolley, 1986. The family-owned business operated on Broadway from 1911 to 1990.
The Woolley men — Bill, Howard, Sr., Howard, Jr., 1950s.
Garfield-Grant Hotel, 1940s. Built in 1926 at the corner of Broadway and 5th Avenue. Designed by architect William Van Alen, known for his work on NYC skyscraper, the Chrysler Building. A new Monmouth County District Count opened in the building in Sept. 1966.
Scriven & Dilentash’s “New York Store” on Broadway, 1868.
Britton’s Pharmacy at Broadway and Norwood Avenue, early 1900s. John T. Britton established the drug store in 1867. When the family sold the business in 1943, it was the oldest pharmacy in the state.
Bruno’s Pharmacy at Broadway and Second Avenue, 1910s. Owner Basil Bruno was a city native. A Republican, he also served on the LB city commission (1948-1952) and represented Monmouth County in the NJ State Assembly for three terms in the 1920s and 30s. A 1910 graduate of the New Jersey College of Pharmacy, he died in 1955.
Cheers Food & Drink on Broadway, 1980s. George Beckett opened the place in 1983.
Tarantolo’s Bakery on Lower Broadway, 1930s.
Shadow Lawn Savings & Loan association bank at the Broadway and Norwood Avenue intersection, 1950s. The new bank opened in July 1949 as a headquarters. Fred Baxter was the builder and James Mancuso was the architect. Willis A. Woolley was bank president at the time. Additions were made in 1956. Sovereign Bank acquired Shadow Lawn assets in 1994.
The Piano Bar was on Third Avenue between Broadway and Belmont Avenue. It opened in December 1951, offering “choice cuisine and fine music every night.” Pasquale and Nancy Simonetti ran the business. Her father was Vito Genovese, one of the most powerful Mob bosses of his day.
Proposal for new city park, 1961.
Chandler & Maps on Lower Broadway, 1970s (Dan Hennessey Collection).
Chandler & Maps Lumber Company promo aerial photo, 1953.
McFaddin Motors ad, early 1960s. It started out as McFaddin’s Garage on Broadway by Dorman McFaddin, Sr., who was a LB mayor as was father Charles O. McFaddin.
McFaddin Motors on Broadway ad, 1930s.
McFaddin’s Garage on Broadway. Long Branch Daily Record, 1912. The shop became the city’s first Cadillac auto dealer in 1916.
Cy Barron auto sales on Lower Broadway, 1960s.
Coast Hardware (r) on Upper Broadway, 1943. Arthur Harmon started the hardware business in 1939; Rich Eyerman acquired it in 1989.
Sketch proposal for new Coast Hardware Co. building at Broadway and Norwood Avenue. Long Branch Daily Record, August 1945. The original hardware store was opened by Art Harmon in 1938 up the road at the bank location.
City Bakery on Broadway, APP 1931. Some city residents still rave about the great baked items from this Long Branch institution. Carl Elenberger started the business in 1924. His motto: “Buns are out backbone.”
Old Caputo’s Bakery on Lower Broadway, 1970s.
Freddie’s Pizzeria sign on Broadway comes down, October 2019. (Jack Flaherty Photo).
A&P Supermarket at Broadway and 5th Avenue. Long Branch Daily Record, June 1966. The store opened in November 1949.
Broadway Diner ad. Long Branch Daily Record, February 1933.
Schneider’s Famous Tap Room on Broadway ad, 1970s. The bar-restaurant was started in 1933 by Isadore Schneider, a Lithuanian-born Jew who died in 1983.
Story about the Tarantolo family and their restaurant on lower Boardway, APP, April 1976.
Members of the KKK march down Broadway as part of its Tri-State Klonklave held at nearby Elkwood Park, July 1924. It’s a sad and disgusting moment in city history.