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of Freeland, Pa.
19th-century restaurants and cafes
What's on this page:
I hope to add more information here about restaurants and cafes in the late 19th century here when I have it. Meanwhile, just a few observations. Many of the restaurants seem to have served alcoholic drinks. One ad offers free lunches to go with the drinks. Thus many restaurants seem to have been a combination of restaurant and saloon, whereas many saloons weren't necessarily also restaurants. Another thing I've noticed is the popularity of oysters, which is interesting for several reasons, but to me most of all because Freeland is not a seaside resort and oysters don't stay fresh for very long. No electric refrigerators back then.
Note that addresses in these 19th-century Freeland directories are in an older numbering scheme and don't match today's addresses. They can be deciphered on the Address numbering page.
At left is a photo
of the Depierro
Restaurant, listed in the 1886-1888 directory at 56 S. Ridge St. (later
renumbered 520 Ridge St.). In 1895 it was listed as being run by
Michael De Pierro. This was later the site of Procopio's. Thanks to
Charlie Gallagher for spending some time trying to figure out if the
building shown at left is still somewhere on that block. The current
building's roof pitch does not match that shown at left, but the
location is the same and so my guess is that the Depierro building was
replaced with a newer building. Further research reveals that this is
indeed the site that was later Procopio's.
At left is Adam Sachs'
Restaurant. He is shown standing on the porch,
holding a small child. From the 1882-1884 city directory up through
that of 1900-1901, this restaurant/saloon is listed at 5 Front Street,
which is just a few buildings east of Centre Street, a prime location.
I have no directories after that until 1921-1922, so I don't know when
the restaurant/saloon went out of business. Likewise, I have not seen
any directories earlier than that of 1882-1884, so I don't know when
the business was started. The photo was provided by Fred Sachs.
Restaurants listed in directories, 1882-1901
It’s hard to clearly separate bars from restaurants, because
much overlap between them. Yet it seems sensible to have separate pages
bars and restaurants. Many restaurants are just restaurants, whether or
serve alcoholic drinks. Many bars are just bars, although many also
serve some food, even if only snacks or a limited selection of bar
food. We’ve also had many bars in Freeland that served meals, usually
cooked by women in the family. During Prohibition, meals and
non-alcoholic drinks were mainly how these places stayed in business.
So the lines are not clear-cut, and I put these businesses on one page
or the other mostly depending on how they were categorized in
directories or in their own ads. For
this reason, whether you’re on the Saloons and Bars page or the
Restaurants page, please check out the other one, too!
The Wilkes-Barre News, Feb.