CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY
MARTIN & OWENS' BAR
1400 Sheridan Street
Southeast corner of Sheridan and Pershing Streets
1400 Sheridan Street became a bar in the days after Prohibition was repealed. Frank Sliwinski was the licensee as early as 1939 through at least 1947, during which time it was known as Bussie's Cafe. The bar was sold to two partners in the late 1940s, and was known as Martin and Owens' Bar through at least 1959. The "Owens" was Joseph J. Owsianka, who had grown up around the corner on Norris Street.
The bar changed hands in 1950 By 1966 it was known as Tony and Rab's Bar. It continued under this name through 1977. From 1977 through 1985, the bar was listed in the new Jersey Bell Telephone directories as the T&A Cafe. Another management change was reflected in the 1990 directory, when the listing was under Morris' Lounge. Another change in ownership occurred in the early 1990s, when the bar was purchased by a member of Camden's Jamaican community, and was renamed the All Nations Lounge.
The All Nations was open intermittently throughout the 1990s. The bar attracted an increasingly young and rowdy crowd, and owner Michael Clark finally stopped selling liquor in 1999, preferring to concentrate on their restaurant and take-out food trade.
1400 Sheridan Street came to national attention briefly when it was revealed that the sniper murderers, John Muhammed and Lee Malvo, were linked to the building, Muhammed having claimed to have lived there when registering a car.
Owsianka behind the bar,
with two customers
Late 1940s-Early 1950s
My Dad, Joe Owsianka, behind the bar, at Martin & Owens. Dad was the co-owner, as Owens, with Tony Martin. The picture is from, I believe the late 1940s. The patrons, I believe were Ed Siedlecki and Al Vogt, two steady patrons until the bar was sold in 1960. The bar was at 1400 Sheridan Street on the corner of Sheridan and Pershing Streets. My Dad, Mom and I resided up on the second floor until I was in the 3rd or 4th grade, at which time they sold the bar. My Mom, Lillian, ran the kitchen, and I remember her hands being cut up from cleaning crabs! Wanda, Tony’s wife, also had kitchen duty, as did Tony’s Mom...Mrs. Martin!
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