CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
CINDY'S CENTRAL CAFE
629 Ferry Avenue
The Central Cafe was originally located at 1057 Central Avenue. Although the bar is on Ferry Avenue, it was known for many years as the Central Cafe. The 1947 Camden City Directory shows it as being owned by Samuel Wasiluk. Sam Wasiluk came to America from Russian Poland in 1910. By 1920 he was living at 668 Tulip Street and working as a riveter at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard. By 1930 he had moved to 1057 Central Avenue, the corner of Central and Tioga Street, and was operating a grocery store. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Samuel Wasiluk established a bar at 1057 Central Avenue. He had acquired the 629 Ferry Avenue bar by 1946. The 1947 City Directory shows both bars as being called the Central Cafe. The Tioga street property has been known since the 1950s as the Tioga Tavern. Sam Wasiluk passed away in Rio Grande NJ in January of 1970.
The bar was sold in 1954 to Jean Mihalick and Bronislawa Wardach and was called Cindy's Central Cafe. In 1960 the business was put up for sale. In 1961 Samuel Berelman acquired the bar and operated as Cindy's Bar for a year or two. In partnership with Raymond Payton and Joan Payton, 629 Ferry Avenue operated as Payton's Place until 1972, when it was renamed The Velvet Lounge. In 1967 Flash Wilson, who was still working in bars as late as 1999, was managing Payton's Place.
Samuel Berelman died in the summer of 1976 after a lengthy illness. The Payton's held the real estate, but apparently not the license, and that appears to have spelled the end of the bar at 629 Ferry Avenue. In the spring of 1977, the State of New Jersey took the land on Ferry Avenue which the bar had stood, and everything else on Ferry Avenue between the railroad tracks and Master Street, to build Interstate I-676.
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