Welcome to the first post in FNY’s new category, Hoboken. Yes, it’s in New Jersey, but I have come to consider the purview of Forgotten New York to be Forgotten Greater New York, encompassing the immediate surrounding areas such as Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Nassau County, and areas of New Jersey reachable from the PATH train such as Hoboken, Jersey City, Newark, and via Hudson-Bergen Light Rail such as Bayonne, Union and Hudson Counties, etc. Rest assured most of my posts will remain within the 5 boroughs.
I have spent a lot of time in Hoboken over the years and am working a freelance job there in early 2016. In 2014 and 2015 I walked Hoboken extensively, shooting hundreds of photos and many of these will eventually make their way to FNY pages. Enjoy!
The site of the old Clam Broth House, the northwest corner of River and Newark Streets, has been replaced by a utilitarian mixed-use building for a few years, but one of the two classic neon signs has been mounted there. The other one used to point downward over the front entrance on Newark Street.
The Clam Broth House was established in 1899 as Servanti’s Restaurant, and held onto its males-only policy two years longer than McSorley’s in the East Village did, finally allowing women to enter in 1972. In its heyday visitors would encounter sawdust and crushed seashells on the floor and a clam broth dispenser — anyone having a drink or an entree could have free clam broth. The restaurant closed in 2003 and its original building was torn down after it was deemed unstable. The Clam Broth House owners sold it to another Hoboken seafood restaurant, Biggie’s Clam Bar at 36-42 Newark.
A Google Street View from 2012 shows the remains of the original building.
Info: Hoboken History & Architecture at a Glance, Randall Gabrielan, Schiffer 2010