Hawthorne Avenue Luncheonette

by Seymour Pierce


During the late 1930s, I worked in a luncheonette on Hawthorne Avenue (near Clinton Place) evenings and weekends until the wee hours. It became a gathering place for many young athletes, future politician, business men and activists.

The ones that come to mind are two prizefighters, Abie Bain, who appeared in a few motion pictures (On the Waterfront, etc), also Nat Arno, who I believe had a lackluster career. The character I remember most of all was a "giant" of a man, who was called "Joe Primo" (Joe Weiner), I believe it was his resemblance to Primo Carnera. When he spoke in an angry tone, I believe knees trembled. I always knew and recognized that behind that "voice" was a "gentler and kinder person" and I always admired that.

Most of these men formed the Hebrew Club which later played "pro basketball". There were many other sporting and civic events. I believe the "Club" still exists, which speaks to the kind of guys they were and still are. I also believe that the 916 [ ? ] political club came out of those groups. The luncheonette was owned and referred to as "Abie Block's" and I am sure that those from Hawthorne Avenue, Clinton Place area, during those years would know of what I speak.


Email this memory to a friend.
Enter recipient's e-mail: