CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
789 Chestnut Street
789 Chestnut Street apparently was a bar before Prohibition. In 1887 and 1888 Philip Barr is listed in the Camden City Directory as operating a saloon at this address. The 1908 directory shows a John A. Gorman, and the 1918-1919 directory reveals that Walter D. Leonard was the proprietor at that time.
The bar was owned and operated for many years by Max Weisfeld, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, who had come to America in 1903 and had settled on Kaighn Avenue by 1920, operating a grocery store at the time of the census. By 1928 he had established himself at 789 Chestnut Street, where he operated the bar, selling near beer. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Max Weisfeld obtained a liquor license.
Max Weisfeld was active in the affairs of the local Jewish community, Max Weisfeld was a member of the Sons of Israel Society, and a member of the Sons of Israel synagogue, which was located only one block away at South 8th & Sycamore Streets.
Max Weisfeld would run the bar until his death in 1942. The Weisfeld family would own and operate the bar, which was known as Weisfeld's Cafe, into the early 1970s. Daughter Sarah Weisfeld lived above the bar during this entire period, before moving to Cherry Hill some time after 1970. She passed away in January of 1980.
The bar would then change hands at least three times during the 1970s and 1980s. At some point during this time, Camden political figure Theodore "Teddy" Hinson was involved in the bar's ownership. The bar appears in the 1980 and 1981 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directories as Just Pals. It was also known at some point at Mommie's.
In the late 1980s the property at 789 Chestnut street was purchased by by Betty Sawyer, who renamed the bar Krystal Lounge, after her infant grand-daughter. She operated the bar until her death in 1992. After Ms. Sawyer passed, the bar was purchased by two partners, Lloyd Pugh and Diane Burnette, who had been Ms. Sawyer's manager, in July of 1992. In the late 1990s, Mr. Pugh bought out Ms. Burnette's interest in the bar. Krystal Lounge remains open today, one of the few bars that has survived in South Camden.
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