Bergen Street

by Marc Levy


In response to a memory from Jacqueline Klein

Found your post on Old Newark Memories. You mention Sybil's Shoppe on Bergen Street. My mom was the manager; the store was named after her. It was part of the Sports Shoppe chain, owned by my grandparents.

Everyone once in a while as a kid I worked in the store boxing up what customers bought. The boxes had white and gray stripes and the logo SIBYL'S SHOPPE across the front. Don't recall the theater you mention but there was another clothing store, Elsie Stones, near by. And Kartzman's, an excellent Jewish deli/restaurant, down the street, if I have the name right. Brody's Shoe's was on the corner across from the bank.

As a child I visited Breslow's Toy's often on Bergen Street. It was owned by Mr. Breslow, who wore a suite and tie. A large mechanical children's ride, maybe a nickel, stood parked by the door. This was not far from Sid Miller's Meat Market. I knew Sid, and recall the saw dust on the floor and rolls of paper with with he wrapped the meat.

I often went to Henry's Sweet Shop, and was fond of Lee, the African American cook. I heard he bought the place out. I also recall a Shoe Repair shop near my mom's store.

Lastly, my dad took me to the Lion's Den, a coffee shop, across from the Park, once a week. I played the pin ball machine, sat at the counter or at one of the booths, drank milk shakes, sometimes sneaked looks at the tabloids.

I visited the street after the Newark riots. Sybil's Shoppe had been damaged beyond repair and was boarded up. It never re-opened. My grandparents flag ship store, The Sports Shoppe, in Irvington, was lost.

In the event, as you do, I have fond memories of Bergen Street.


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