CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

ROY'S CAFE
920 Federal Street, 800 Federal Street & 733 Federal Street

Roy A. Wagner was operating a bar under a soft-drink license at 920 Federal Street as early as 1932. He acquired the bar at 800 Federal Street after the municipal elections of 1935.

The first time a bar appears at 800 Federal  Street in Camden City Directories is 1929, when George Hamill, who had been operating an establishment at 636 Federal Street, opened up a bar under a "soft drink" license at 800 Federal Street. He had previously been in the florist's business. Hamill had the establishment as late as the spring of 1935. Prior to that, 800 Federal street had been the site of the Acme Tea Company grocery store. 

Prohibition was repealed in 1933. George Hamill applied for and obtained a liquor license. He ran unsuccessfully for Camden's City Commission as an independent in 1935, then sold the bar. In 1939 he opened a club on Brace Road in Delaware Township that was called The Farm which remained in business into the 1970s. By 1979 the club had been renamed The Coastline, and stayed open until 2016. The new owners of the property planned to raze the building and develop a senior citizen's living center on the site. 

After getting the bar from George Hamill, Roy A. Wagner renamed the bar at 800 Federal Street
Roy's Cafe. Roy Wagner's uncle, W. Harry Smith, had been a bartender in Camden for over 25 years. Having grown up around the corner in the 700 block of Carman Street, he was well-known in the immediate neighborhood. He had previously operated a cigar store at 35 Haddon Avenue. In April of 1954 he was granted place-to-place transfer of his liquor license and moved the bar to 733 Federal Street, where it remained in business until at least the summer of 1964. Roy Wagner retired not long afterwards. L
ast a resident of Cherry Hill NJ, he passed away in October of 1966.

Roy Wagner employed two of his brothers, Phillip and George C. Wagner, as bartenders. 

The tavern remained open into the early 1970s, when it and other properties in the 700 block of Federal Street were acquired in order to extend Haddon Avenue through to Linden Street in North Camden

Roy's Cafe

George C. Wagner is behind the bar. The couple at the far end of the bar are Roy A. Wagner, who owned the establishment, and his wife Jennie.  The dark-haired man seated next to Mrs. Wagner is identified as Al Bott. The father and son in the foreground at right are Joseph and Sonny Leaming.

Camden Courier-Post - May 14, 1952

Drink Up!
The Bars, Taverns, and Clubs of Camden

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