Remembering the Past: Carteret & Woodbridge Memories

By Diane Norek Harrison

CARTERET-Here are more memories of the City Line Bar and Grill, which used to be on Roosevelt Ave. I had shared memories of this bar before, in my Oct. 2, 2009 column. They are from the grandson of the owners, Bill Donovan.

“The City Line Bar was started by Giovannina D’Arienzo and her husband Antonio De Ruosi after they came to the USA in 1938.


“The tavern opened at 6 a.m. to cater to a thriving metal refinery called US Metals. I would bartend on Saturday’s while in college and at 5:30 a.m. it seemed the whole entire third shift would be waiting in the parking lot for me to open.

“Drinks were cheaper, we had to fight to keep her prices current. The bar bought you a drink after every three you bought—try finding that today—and it was the type of place where you knew what they were drinking before they said a word.

“As the neighborhood started to decline over the years, there would occasionally be a little trouble, but nothing was ever started in the bar due to respect for mom and her place. Police frequented the place for lunch and after their shifts and always looked out for her. To most of her regulars, it was home away from home. It was a place to enjoy a spirited game of pinochle, have a drink and enjoy an affordable satisfying home cooked meal.

“After we sold the tavern, my grandmother’s health was declining, I went back to visit, but it wasn’t the same. Apartment/condos now sit on the property.”

WOODBRIDGE-The following is from 1930s material given to me.
In the early 1930s, Woodbridge High School students presented “Two Crooks and a Lady.”

Scene I was in the Library in Mrs. Simms-Vanes home, Place: New York City, Time: The Present:

The cast included: Miller, the Hawk played by J. Markow, Lucille, his accomplice; E. Deter, Miss Jones, her companion; Y. Buckley, Police Inspector; P. Bell, and Garrity, a policeman; R. Miller.

Scene II-The Minuet, Place: In the prison of the Concierge, Time: During the Reign of Terror: The Marquis was played by W. Levi, The Marcheoness; M. Berry and the Gaoler; D. John

The first Band Party was held on May 22 in the early 1930s. President Harry Wilson, Secretary William Ellis, Treasurer Don Montague and Drum Major Joseph Vargyas met with the Director, Mr. T. Hoops and Mr. Ferry and decided to have the Band vote for the entertainment they desire-a dinner or a party. The “Party” vote was very strong, so a party it was.

The entertainment committee with Roy Pateman as chairman has engaged a group of the Rainbow Serenaders to furnish peppy music. George Esposito was in charge of refreshments and decorations were in the capable hands of Phillip Bell.

In the early 1930s, alumni of Woodbridge High School, Joel Leeson, Russell Demarest, Edward Nahass and Thomas Currie, members of the Red and Black Quartet, took third place in the semi-finals in a radio contest over WOR from the Branford theatre in Newark.

If you have your own memories or information from the past about Carteret, Edison, Metuchen, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy or Woodbridge you can email me at or send copies of your material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201

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