I gotta say it is very different from what I've experienced before staying in a beach resort. You won't feel lonely as friendly GO Gentil Organisateurs are everywhere who greets and talk to you.
This town, ANY town, is more than its buildings, more than its churches, more than it politicians, and more than its schools. The bars, taverns, and social clubs of Camden provided entertainment opportunities for social activities for their patrons and members. The bars would sponsor sports teams, and provide financial support for other social activities, as evidenced in the advertising sections of programs ranging from banquets to high school and college yearbooks.
In times when Camden was the place to be, it can also be said that Camden was the place to be in a social sense for the many who cared to step out for a taste after a hard days work! Camden Bars Before Prohibition Between and there were no legally operating bars as we know them in Camden, as the country was operating under Prohibition.
There had been, of course, many such establishments open prior to Some closed shop forever, others remained open as restaurants, or in related businesses such as soft drink bottling.
Some stayed in business operating on a "soft drink" permit, serving near beer. Camden's bars were as much a part of the life of the city as the churches and industries.
Just as in the days of the American Revolution, a LOT of political activity occurred in and came out of the bars.
A lot of appointments to city positions such as the police and fire departments in the days before civil service were received by bar owners, their family members and bartenders.
When I set this page up, I had few pre sources at hand, and the coverage on these saloons was quite incomplete. In June of I came across three newspaper articles listing liquor license renewals in Camden, from, and Click on the dates to read the articles in their entirety. The information about the individual bars named will be added to this page as time permits.
While some tavern owners sold out and others switched to other lines of work, many business owners, with wives and children to support, found there way around the unpopular laws against alcoholic beverages. A diluted brew of beer was legal, and many of Camden's taverns became "soft drink" houses.
Needless to say, the demands of the public for real beer and alcohol and the needs of the businessmen to make a living often met somewhere outside the letter of the law!
A photo of what appears to be a local Camden baseball tavern tournament team, early 's. My grandfather, Charles David Letts, Sr. The rest of the males in the Letts family have always tried to follow his example.
The picture looks like a cross between the Bowery Boys and the Katzenjammer Kids. O'Neill, writing under the byline of "JIMINY" noted in the February 2, edition of the paper that" "Twenty-seven of the so-called "soft drink" establishments which were granted a Camden license forwere raided by federal agents during the past year.
So who was the mayor who said some months ago that Camden was beerless? Philadelphia gangster Mickey Duffy controlled the Camden brewery until he was gunned down in an Atlantic City hotel room, and the saloons and speakeasies of the city in many cases were tipped off about raids.
Many stills also were noted in newspapers of the day. On April 7,it became legal to serve beer once again in New Jersey.
An interesting article appeared in the June 9, Camden Courier-Post concerning the effects that legalization had on the bars and the speakeasies in and around Camden. That both the legitimate dispenser of the amber fluid and the fellow who takes a chance on the "hard stuff" are humming a mournful dirge is evident in the conversations of both to their thirsty customers.
The growth of tap rooms in all parts of the city is one of the complaints of the regular beer places but the order preventing them from using their bars is probably the sharpest thorn in the side of their business. Then, too, a number of the "better places" in Camden before April 7 depended almost entirely on trade from Philadelphia and with this lacking, they are 'at their wits' end.
With bar service unlawful and the drinker forced to sit at a table, the saloon proprietor is wondering what he can do to hang on to the rapidly dwindling clientele. Speakeasies, on the other hand, are suffering from the legal return of beer much more painfully. Most of the owners are ready to admit that their once lucrative racket is "taking it on the chin" and the cash registers which jingled so merrily before April 7 are now practically silenced in an awesome lull.
The explanation advanced is that the "speaks" have been abandoned not because the frequenters have changed their drinking habits but for the simple reason that they would much rather drink 3.
These warm afternoons which once sent those wishing to "cool off" to their favorite haunts behind peek-hole doors, now find them in the taverns where anyone can hoist a seidel without looking out one corner of the eye. The woes of the speakeasy proprietor also have been aggravated in that they must compete with the law-abiding establishments which serve cent beer.
Roadhouse proprietors, have suffered to a great extent by the whoopee makers who used to bring their own private stock and order beverage and ice to go with it at profitable price but now order beer.
Some have put on cover charges while others have specified on their menus that parties must meet a minimum bill. Taking the whole situation into consideration, one gathers that the only person benefiting in Camden from the legal return of beer is the realtor who has "turned over'" favorite spots to some purveyors anxious to get corner stands.How Do William Golding and Williams Shakespeare Present Disturbed Characters?
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