CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
950 South 5th Street
DAVOLOS' CAFE was operated by Frank Davolos during the mid-1930s at 950 South 5th Street for many years.
950 South 5th Street housed a bar as far back as 1887, when Adam T. Davis Sr. was proprietor. He was still there as late as 1888. The 1890-1891 City Directory shows that Hugh Lavery resided at and operated the bar at 950 South 5th Street. Walter S. Gillespie was the proprietor in 1905, and Joseph Conaghy had the business, known simply as Conaghy's, when the 1914 City Directory was compiled and through at least the end of the year. Jacob Sax was managing the bar for a Hyman Bloom as early as June of 1917 and by the 1920s owned the business. He still had the property as late as 1930.
A bar fight in which Mr. Davolos was injured resulted in his leaving the tavern business in 1938 or 1939. In the late 1930s and early 1940s the bar was known as The Upset Club, and was operated by Frank Tenerelli, who had boxed professionally under the name Frankie Blair. It was later known as the Walnut Cafe. The Walnut Cafe was one of the neighborhood's many Italian-American bars. The business changed hands around 1990 and now serves South Camden's Hispanic community. The DiMattia family operated the bar for many years. In 1967 Marie L. DiMattia of Pennsauken NJ and Louis DiMattia of Haddon Township were the partners.
Camden Courier-Post - February 8, 1938
KEEPER CALLED TO ANSWER ON BRAWL
Frank Davolos, 41, saloon proprietor at Fifth and Walnut Streets, is scheduled to appear tonight before the Camden Excise Board to show cause why his liquor license should not be revoked because of a brawl there last November.
There were two main fights and some side quarrels, according to police, on November 26. Bottles and glasses were hurled in the free-for-all.
Camden Courier-Post - February 9, 1938
BOARD HOLDS UP TAPROOM RULE
Proprietor Defends Charges of Brawl in Revocation Citation
The Camden City Excise Board last night reserved decision in the case of Frank Davolos, proprietor of a taproom at Fifth and Walnut Streets, cited to show cause why his liquor license should not be revoked after a brawl there on November 26.
Chairman John L. Morrissey announced the board would render a decision after he and Curtis O. Sangtinette held a conference with Mrs. Ann M. Baumgartner, secretary, and third member of the board, who was absent because of illness.
Commissioner D. Frederick Burnett, State A. B. C. chief, ordered Davolos before the local board on charges of permitting a brawl on the licensed premises, contrary to Rule 5 of state regulations, and the sale of alcoholic beverages to a minor, contrary to Rule 1.
Charges against Davolos grew out of a brawl at the saloon in which one man was shot in the thigh, an other cut on the hand and Davolos suffered a battered head.
Michael Narcisso, 20, of 420 Walnut Street, was shot when he and Davalos fought over a revolver behind the bar. John Marchione, 25, of 3939 Marlton Pike, Pennsauken, companion of Narcisso, was cut during the melee. Narcisso and Marchione have been indicted on charges of assault and battery while the same charge against Davolos was no billed by the grand jury. Testimony was offered by Davolos and several employees that Narcisso and Marchione were abusive and used profane language while in the place and started the brawl when they were ordered out. The pair allegedly returned to the place three times after the start of the fight which included the throwing the glasses and bottles about the bar room.
Marchione testified, both he and Narcisso were ordered from the place by Davalos "for no reason at all" and that Davolos started the fight by punching Narcisso in the face as both attempted to leave. Marchione said Davolos took the gun from a drawer from, behind the bar and fired one shot at him and when he tried to fire the second, Narcisso attempted to grab the gun and was shot.
Shooting Victim Silent
Narcisso appeared at the hearing with the aid of a cane but refrained from testifying on advice of his counsel, Blaine Capehart, who explained his client was under indictment in connection with the case.
Angelo Malandra, counsel for Davolos, moved the charge of selling to minors be dismissed as Narcisso was the minor involved and without his testimony there was no evidence of the sale. His motion was granted.
The board also reserved decision on issuance of a club license to the Eighth Ward Democratic Club, of 512 Ferry Avenue. A protest against the license was entered by the Eighth Ward Roosevelt Italian Democratic Club, of 521 Ferry Avenue.
The objectors entered charges of: No charter; not being in continuous existence for the period required by state statute (which is three years) and that the club was located 200 feet from a church.
Club Charter Exhibited
Fred Schorpp, president of the Eighth Ward Democratic Club, testified he was a charter member of the club since July 17, 1919, and the club never disbanded. The charter was offered as evidence.
Edmund J. Olsen, attorney and secretary of the protesting club, declared the First Italian Pentecostal Church of Camden purchased the old South Camden Bank building at Broadway and Ferry Avenue and was remodeling it for a church.
The board allowed two person-to person transfers and one place-to place transfer. The license of Joseph Samselski, of 1198 Thurman Street, was transferred to Leon Walczynski and the permit of Joseph A. Italiano, of 941 South Fourth street, was transferred to Joseph Cuffari. Joseph Fimiani, of Third and Washington streets, was allowed to transfer his place of business to 2277 South Seventh Street ..
Camden Courier-Post * February 14, 1938
11 NABBED BY POLICE IN
Ten men and a woman were arrested in gambling raids over the weekend by Camden city and county authorities.
Seven were arrested for operating a "bingo numbers" racket. A warrant also was issued for Frank Palese, 400 Spruce street, a member of a widely known South Camden family, as the "big shot" of the racket, according to Chief Lawrence T. Doran, of county detectives. Doran said last night Palese is still a fugitive.
In another raid by Camden police, three men and a woman were arrested
in an alleged horse racing betting establishment at 1149 Lansdowne
avenue. The place was on the second floor over a grocery store, according to
Koerner, City Detective Thomas Murphy,
Several racing forms and four telephones with two direct wires to tracks
now in operation were seized, according to Koerner and
Murphy, The police first arrested Roland Flynn, 36, of 589
street; Neil Zeldman, 43, of 1064 Langham
avenue, and James O'Donal, 27, of.
Later Mrs. Rose Koplin, 37, who lives in an apartment over the store, was taken into custody on the same charge and held in $500 bail. Mrs. Koplin's brother, Milton Katz, posted cash bail for her release.
Murphy reported that $700 had been bet on race horses at the establishment up until 3.30 p. m., Saturday, the time of the raid.
Among those arrested in the "bingo numbers" racket was Fred Rossi, who fought in the prize ring under the name of "Pee Wee" Ross. He was arrested Saturday afternoon at his home at 438 Mickle street by Koerner and Murphy.
O'Donal, Flynn, Zeidman and Mrs. Koplin will be given hearings today
in police court.
Rossi, Branco, Goodman and Holmes were released in $500 bail each for the Grand Jury by Justice of the Peace Samuel Rudolph. Prosecutor Orlando said he would demand bail of $1000 each for release of Girard and Marino.
Refused to Sell
Lodge told the detectives he was approached to sell the slips but that he refused to take them.
Doran stated that Marino insists he is the operator of the lottery, but the county detective chief declared that Marino was merely trying to "take the rap" for Palese.
City and county authorities have been aware of the existence of the new
racket for about 10 days. Murphy and
Koerner had been detailed
specifically by Commissioner Mary W. Kobus to investigate and break
up the ring. The two sleuths followed numerous suspects, watching
The trap was sprung when Marino, Girard, Chapman and Holmes were arrested on South Centre street in Merchantville as they sat in a parked car. The car, according to Doran, bore license plates issued to Palese.
Merchantville police and Doran arrested the four and seized bingo numbers slips. Murphy and Koerner also arrested Branco, while County Detectives James Mulligan, Elmer Mathis, Wilfred Dube and Casmir Wojtkowiak arrested Goodman.
Doran admitted that the automobile in which the four men were found
was the property of Palese. A search was made at the home of Palese, on Fourth street, near Spruce, but nothing indicating he was connected with
the racket was found, Doran said. But Doran added he has information which leads him to believe Palese was the head of the new racket..
Camden Courier-Post * February 15, 1938
Camden Courier-Post - February 16, 1938
FREES 2 IN TAPROOM BRAWL
Men Accused of Assault on Proprietor Say He Started Trouble
Accused of assault and battery, Mike Narcisso, 20, of 420 Walnut Street, and John Marchione, 25, of 3939 Marlton Pike, were freed yesterday by Judge Clifford A. Baldwin in Criminal Court. They were tried without jury.
Frank Davolos, owner of a cafe at Fifth and Walnut Streets, testified the men came into his place on the night of November 26 and started a fight. Davolos said he was injured on the head when struck by a beer bottle.
The taproom proprietor also testified the alleged assailants were thrown out but returned, this time to beat him. A scuffle followed, he testified, and in the melee, Narcisso was shot in the leg.
Narcisso and Marchione denied the story of the proprietor.
According to them Davolos called them "a couple of bums" when they entered his taproom and wound up his denunciation by hitting Narcisso on the head with a beer bottle.
Marchione testified he took Narcisso to the hospital and both returned for their overcoats which had been left behind. Marchione declared that Davolos grabbed a gun and fired it, the bullet going into a tailor shop across the street.
Narcisso, his companion testified, leaped over the counter to prevent Davolos from shooting again, and in the scuffle the gun was discharged, the bullet penetrating Narcisso's leg.
"I'm not satisfied with the evidence presented by Davolos and his witnesses" declared the court. "I'm surprised that neither side has seen fit to bring here as witnesses persons who were in the taproom on the night of the alleged assault. I find the defendants not guilty."
The Bars, Taverns, and Clubs of Camden
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