Peter
Gondolf


PETER GONDOLF is best remembered as the proprietor of what was for decades one of only two bars in Fairview, The Fairview Gardens, at 3007 Fenwick Road. Officially "The Fairview Grill Association", the Fairview Gardens, known to Fairview residents for years as The Pink Cat, had a colorfully history before its closure.

Peter Gondolf Jr. was born on October 25, 1877 in Pennsylvania. When the Census was taken in 1900 he was living at 1701 South 4th Street with his wife Marion, whom he had married around 1897, and his sister Pauline Gondolf. He then was working as a milkman. Within a few years he had opened a grocery at this location. By 1910 he had taken a position as a foreman with a railroad, most likely the Reading, and moved his family to 9-5 Woodland Avenue. The Gondolf family by then included five children, Harold, Richard, Gladys, Raymond, and Harry. The family was still residing at this address in 1914. By this time Peter Gondolf had secured an appointment to the Camden Police Department.

When it was time for him to register for the draft in September of 1918, Peter Gondolf was living with his family at 674 Fairview Street. Prohibition would come a year later, and shortly after that another career change. The Gondolfs remained on Fairview Street through January of 1920 but had moved to 3035 Tuickahoe Road in the then-new Yorkship Square section of Camden, better known in these times as Fairview by 1924. Peter Gondolf by then had left the police force and was in business in real estate and as a builder. By April of 1930 he had bought a property in Fairview on Fenwick Road worth $15,000.... a large amount for that time. His residence was 3001 Fenwick Road. The next neighbor on the street at 3019 Fenwick Road was the Reno Canzanese family. Reno Canzanese was one of the brothers involved in the Seven Brothers Bakery in South Camden.

The Fairview neighborhood in Camden was originally part of Haddon Township, which was a dry town. Haddon Township ceded Yorkship Village Square and the surrounding neighborhood to Camden in 1918. Before any taverns could be established, the Volstead Act was passed in October of 1919, making the manufacture sale of alcoholic beverages illegal. Prohibition proved wildly unpopular, and Fairview, like most every other neighborhood in America had a speakeasy or two. The Fairview Gardens apparently was one.

The story goes that The Pink Cat started during Prohibition as a speak-easy. During those years it was run by Peter Gondolf. Its clientele included many influential people from the Camden County political arena.  Due in part to this influential clientele, after Prohibition was repealed, Mr. Gondolf and friends organized a private club and acquired an official state liquor license, and "The Fairview Grill Association" was born. Although already known as Fairview Gardens, this name was apparently in use elsewhere in New Jersey, thus the "Grill Association" name. 

It should be noted that Peter Gondolf's brother, Edward Gondolff, was the owner and operator of the Temple Bar & Hotel at 407-409 Market Street in Camden prior to his death in April of 1918. Another brother, Frank Gondolf, served for a short time as a member of the Camden Fire Department around 1914 and from the 1920s into at least the late 1940s worked as a foreman, later as a chemist, and finally as superintendent of the City of Camden's sewers and sewage treatment plants.

Peter Gondolf passed away on February 29, 1940 and was buried at New St. Mary's Cemetery in Bellmawr, New Jersey. His widow Marion ran the bar for a time with help from her sons. Richard Gondolf took over operation of the bar in the 1950s, and Marion Gondolf passed on in 1955. When Richard Gondolf retired, he sold the bar to Vincent and Josephine Canzanese, before passing away in August of 1973. Mrs. Canzanese, know to all as "Granny", lived in the house and ran the bar for many years until she retired. Her sun Arthur "Artie" Canzanese ran the bar until the late 1970s when he, too, retired, turning the bar over to his son, Gregory Canzanese, who ran the bar until its closure. The property now houses a state-run day care center and pre-school. 


Peter Gondolf
with two of his children,
Gladys & Richard


Philadelphia inquirer
February 16, 1914

Charles Rudolph
Margaret Rudolph
Milton Stanley
Edward S. Hyde
Elbridge B. McClong
 
Frank Crawford
Peter Gondolf
William Lyons
Harry Miller
Arthur Colsey
Thomas Reed
William Potter
Tabor Quinn
Charles Whaland
George W. Anderson
Albert Shaw
Thomas Cunningham
William C. Horner

 


Philadelphia Inquirer - September 13, 1914


Philadelphia Inquirer
March 19, 1915

Peter Gondolf
O. Glen Stackhouse
Mrs. Frances Wisnefsli
Joseph Wachiski
Stanley Rubinski
Viola Street


Camden Post-Telegram

July 18, 1916

Clarence V. Walsingham
Robert Pettit
Albert De Unger
South 6th Street
Florence Street

Camden Post-Telegram

July 20, 1916

Mrs. Carrie String
Clarence V. Walsingham
Robert Pettit
South 6th Street
Florence Street


Peter Gondolf - World War I Draft Card

Click on Image to Enlarge

Camden Evening Courier - December 10, 1930



Garfield S. Pancoast - Howard Smith - Theodore Guthrie
 
Clarence Bunker - Raymond Gondolf - Peter Gondolf
Monitor Road - George Fingerhut - Hugh Fingerhut

Camden Courier-Post * March 21, 1932
...continued...
George R. Thompson - Fenwick Road - Constitution Road - Morse Street
Clifford A. Baldwin - Harold Gondolf - Peter Gondolf - Lawrence T. Doran
George Hall - Morgan Boulevard - South 7th Street - South 8th Street

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