A unique Gloucester City landmark located at King and Monmouth is back in business as a local tavern after some interior remodeling, thanks to a local family who has been doing business in the City for years. The King Street Pub opened recently in an interesting building that for the last few decades has been a small tavern, but before that… a Jewish Synagogue?
The Bond family who are bringing this pub back to life first established a standard for high-quality food and service at Art’s Deli over on Broadway. Even if you’ve never been to Art’s Deli, a quick look at their Yelp and Tripadvisor reviews let’s you know this family knows what they are doing. With a love for Gloucester City and seeing the shuttered pub as an opportunity to restore life to the iconic building, the Bond’s reopened the King Street Pub last month.
The brick building has been a bar for decades, but if you’ve visited years ago and then return today, you’ll immediately notice they’ve changed things up. Most notably is the bar is now the centerpiece of the room, significantly increasing the available stools at the bar, while still leaving plenty of room around the perimeter for table seating.
I actually stopped in several weeks ago during their opening weekend and found the wait staff, the owners, and the patrons too… all friendly and willing to chat.
The lone brick building on King Street where Monmouth intersects has a history going back to 1887 when it was built as the Security Trust Bank. Looking at the building you’ll immediately identify it as a bank 130 years ago. But in 1930 things really got interesting when it was converted into a Synagogue, and remained a place of worship until 1980. According to “The Jews of New Jersey: A Pictorial History“, at one time King Street was lined had several businesses and the Beth-El synagogue was the center of Jewish life in Gloucester City… which makes it an interesting story to the newly reopened pub considering the predominantly Irish roots of today’s Gloucester City residents.
Still remaining after all these decades are the synagogue’s stained-glass windows, and moving the bar to the center of the room makes the windows even more prominent. Names are on the windows which begs for additional research.
The upper balcony is still there for seating, which originally is where the bank managers sat in the 1800s to watch over the money being counted below, and then later became an area where women prayed.
I had a couple of beers on a warm Friday, and sampled some of their fresh cut french fries… which based on images on the employee’s t-shirts, they are positioning their french fries as their key food item “ya gotta try the fries”!
Beautiful TVs were in place, country music playing over the sound system, but considering I was there the second day of opening it was a little too soon to grasp what other entertainment opportunities are to come.
So there are several bars along King St and Jersey Ave, but this is a new one…. and considering you’ve probably never had a beer in a synagogue, it should be worth a trip.
And if you live in Gloucester City, you may just have an obligation to check out the King Street Pub… owned by the Bond family of Art’s Deli.
King Street Pub Facebook Page