Keeley's Tavern

by Robert Keeley Jr.


My family owned Keeley's Tavern on William Street in Newark for many years. It was established in 1887. Although in 1932, history shows the owners as my great uncles, Joe and Norman, I think they inherited it from my great-grandfather, Dennis. I was born at Beth Israel in 1951, and we lived near the corner of South 10th Street and Avon Avenue until the mid-fifties.  
My grandfather, James, and my dad, Robert, had an accounting firm downtown - their clients included some notable Newark businesses - Seton Leather, Briscoe Construction, Porter Engineering, Whitehead and Hoag, Baldwin & Miller Silversmiths, Dooner & Smith Chemicals, Crofutt & Smith Moving and Storage, and many others. 
My memories include Bamberger's, Weequahic Park (I saw a horse race there), and Olympic Park. The Wild Mouse, power boats and the birch beer are vivid memories. I also once marched in a parade with my grandfather that ended with breakfast at the Robert Treat hotel...unfortunately, I can't forget the taste of the powdered eggs!! 
If you have any stories about visiting Keeley's Tavern, I'd love to hear them!! 
Bob Keeley, Jr.


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