CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

VICTORY CAFE
1301 Decatur Street
Northeast Corner of Decatur and Norris Streets

The Victory Cafe first appears in Camden City Directories as a tavern in 1947, with John Palazzo listed as the proprietor. As the bar is not listed in 1943, it may be safe to assume that the bar was opened around the time of the end of World War II, in late 1945, drawing it's name from America's victory in the conflict. The bar operated continuously as the Victory Cafe until at least 1977. The Victory Cafe was not listed in the 1979 New Jersey Bell Directory under taverns. The building still stands, and appears to be in good condition, but has not been open for many, many years. 

John Palazzo was born in Italy in 1895. After coming to America in 1911 he wed, and with his wife Antoinette "Nettie", rented a home at 501 South 3rd Street in Camden. At the time of the 1920 census he was working as a cabinet maker at the Victor Talking Machine Company factory in Camden. By 1947 John Palazzo was in business, with the Victory Meat Market at 510 South 3rd Street, and the Victory Cafe.  John Palazzo moved to 1583 Bradley Avenue in Camden's Parkside section by 1959. He remained a Camden resident until his death in January 1983, at the age of 87.

In June of 1967, when it was time to renew the liquor license for the Victory Cafe, John and Alice Germino were the principals.

Victory Cafe - October 5, 2003
Click on Image to Enlarge

My sister Vicky and I were talking about the Victory Cafe. I remembered summer days with it's front door open, the damp beery air wafting onto the sidewalk and the Phillies game always on. One summer pastime was waiting for the ice truck that delivered to the bar. I, being goody-two-shoes, never stole ice from the truck. I would ask for ice and the ice man was kind enough to oblige.

Sometimes one of us would go in there with dad and get an orange soda. Vicky, my younger sister, remembers that there were no bar stools. Instead of a step rail there was a step. She would sometimes sit on that long step under the bar if she went there with dad.

Mary Ann Graziosi Berthrong
February 2004

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