I had the opportunity on September 2nd to walk through the “From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen” exhibit hosted by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. As a person who enjoys the music of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, I would describe the exhibit as nothing less than spectacular. I have to say, however, the exhibit also unexpectedly satisfied my craving for anything to do with Seaside Heights history. While walking past an exhibit of some old concert posters I came across an original cardboard style poster for Bruce’s three shows at Fat City in Seaside Heights during the summer of 1973. Unfortunately, I was not permitted to take photos inside the exhibit, but I recently found the image that is pasted below (the one with the Bruce photo) of a similar poster for the Fat City shows. The other images include two newspaper ads for the shows and a concert ticket. You will note a discrepancy concerning the location of Fat City. One item states that the bar was located on Sumner Ave. & the Boulevard (the correct location) while another item incorrectly states Hamilton Ave. & the Boulevard. If you are a Bruce Springsteen fan I encourage you to check out a website named Brucebase ( https://brucebase.wikispaces.com/). These images and many more are hosted there. Note: The Seaside Heights shows occurred during the summer following release of “Greetings From Asbury Park” and a few months before “The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle” was released.
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Klee’s Bar has been an important player in the Seaside Heights bar and restaurant scene since the early 1930s and is one of those rare places “where everybody knows your name.” Original owners, Ursula and Daniel Klee, arrived in town from Philadelphia in 1913. Sons Andrew and Henry assumed management of the business after they completed military service during World War II. Andrew retired in the late 1960s, but Henry continued to operate the business until about 1978. Present owners have made many improvements to the building over the years and have successfully maintained the restaurant’s family atmosphere. It is a Seaside Heights gem. I can remember that “400 Cases Cold Beer” sign as a kid, and asking myself, does somebody really count them?
I’m thinking the 1980s.
Ads are from the 1970s. Images can be enlarged with your mouse.
From The Terry Groffie Collection.
This is a view of Swayze’s Dutch Mill Inn that was located on the Boulevard between Hamilton & Webster Avenues. Today the properties are the site of Club Karma and Luna Derosa Restaurant. The Swayze family owned numerous bars in Seaside Heights over the course of many decades such as Swayze’s Bar (present day site of Jack & Bills on the Boardwalk), the historic Parrot Club, Aztec Lounge, and the Dutch Mill Inn shown here. The Dutch Mill Inn building was destroyed by a fire that I can remember clearly. I arrived on the first fire truck which had nothing more than a 1″ hose line on a reel (practically speaking, the hose was the equivalent of a high pressure garden hose). I can recall pulling and stretching the hose line toward the sidewalk with my back toward the fire and then, as I turned around, I looked up and saw the extent of the fire. I chuckled to myself and thought, “well, this hose isn’t gonna do a damn thing!” Other better equipped engine and ladder trucks soon arrived. Some photos of the fire are posted at the Seaside Fire Museum website.
Photo from the Terry Groffie Collection