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Retro Philadelphia and New Jersey Bound! What’s Not-To-Miss?

Posted on: February 11, 2011

The weather is supposed to be over freezing this weekend, and I’ve got a Groupon to use or lose, so tomorrow I finally hit the road again – traipsing into Philadelphia and journeying over the bridge to Pennsauken NJ and beyond.

Souvenir of the Garden State Parkway

Can’t wait to show you some of my finds- and may even post some from the road. Are there any RetroRoadmap worthy places I shouldn’t miss that you know of, dear readers? Let me know in the comments below!

18 responses to "Retro Philadelphia and New Jersey Bound! What’s Not-To-Miss?"

  1. AD Feb 11, 2011 at 20:29

    Not all of these photos are ‘retro’, but they’ll give you an idea of what’s in the area:

    Images of the White Horse Pike (NJ) are here:

    Images of the Black Horse Pike are here:

    Many of the captions will tell you if the items pictured are still there, or if they’ve been torn down and/or replaced.

    Here’s a Uniroyal Tire Gal that’s been refurbished and repainted to be a superhero “NitroGirl”:

    • Mod Betty / Feb 11, 2011 at 20:35

      Oh I LOVE to look at Flickr for inspiration – thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I totally forgot about Del Buono’s Bakery, thanks!!

  2. Amy Feb 11, 2011 at 20:30

    Weber’s Root Beer on Route 38 East, on the Pennsauken/Cherry Hill border- right down the road from the mall. It’s fabulously old school, and very well-maintained. Gourmet food it is not- think hot dogs, pork roll, burgers- but it’s fast, fresh and a blast from the past. Their milkshakes and root beer are excellent, and you can take them to go in a paper cup (but where’s the fun in that?). Tip to keep in mind, they are cash only…oh, and now that I’ve typed all that, I just realized that they may not be open for the season till March. Boo. However, tomorrow’s a nice day, so you never know.

    • Mod Betty / Feb 11, 2011 at 20:39

      Amy- I can’t believe I don’t have that Weber’s on the RetroRoadmap already- I swear I need to do a review and make sure all the cool places I’ve been have made it on there. Aren’t there two of them in that general area? One with a mobile, and maybe another with a (defunct?) mini golf?

      I got a (imho beautiful) shot of a Weber’s stand last summer that also didn’t make it on the map:

      And you’re right I bet these aren’t open yet- but I sense a themed “NJ Root Beer Stand” post in the RetroRoadmap future. Good call!

  3. AD Feb 11, 2011 at 20:30

    Not all of these photos are ‘retro’, but they’ll give you an idea of what’s in the area:

    Images of the White Horse Pike (NJ) are here:

    Images of the Black Horse Pike are here:

    Many of the captions will tell you if the items pictured are still there, or if they’ve been torn down and/or replaced.

    Here’s a Uniroyal Tire Gal that’s been refurbished and repainted to be a superhero “NitroGirl”:

    Collingswood, NJ has a lot of historic buildings which they’ve refurbished and keep in great condition.

  4. Amy Feb 11, 2011 at 20:35

    Oh, and I have another! The Pub in Pennsauken at the Airport Circle. Excellent, very well-priced steakhouse, with decor that makes you feel like you’ve stepped in a time machine. They get busy though, despite the massive size of the dining area, especially being the weekend, and Valentine’s Day weekend at that. Even if too busy to dine at, they have a wonderfully retro lounge, and a great neon sign outside. They’re very popular for good reason!

    • Mod Betty / Feb 11, 2011 at 20:41

      Oh I LOVE the Pub! We get our car worked on just around the corner, so one night we dared go in, not knowing what we’d find. Talk about throwback decor- and our food was tasty too! Glad to know they’re busy. I’ll be right in that area tomorrow – hoping to see what’s up with Roney’s if it’s still there, then my main reason for being in NJ is to check out the vintage-print bark cloth at J&O fabric, and pick out something for a sundress someone’s making me. Looking forward to a day of fun- thanks for the tips!

  5. Tiki Chris Pinto Feb 11, 2011 at 20:43

    You’re headin’ into my old neck of the woods. If you head to the east coast check out Smithville on Rt 9 (just north of AC). Colonial town-turned-quaint shopping community. Neat stuff and great restaurant. Then head back south to the Black Horse Pike (Route 40/322). It’s about a 20 minute drive and there are some interesting houses along the way. Head west on the Black Horse Pike and you’ll find Storybook Land (which will probably be closed but the front castle is neat), and a junk yard that has been there since the 1920’s. And if you get a chance to go to the shore (about 15 minutes from there) go to Margate and check out Lucy the Elephant 🙂

    • Mod Betty / Feb 11, 2011 at 22:53

      Ooh Tiki Chris- I wish I could head out to the shore area but I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it this trip. I am jonesing so for a road trip but RetroRoadhusband is going to be busy so I have to make sure I’m home in time to feed the Roaddog! Good suggestions for a later trip – and I definitely want to take the roadkids to Storybookland before they (eek!) get too big!
      And we heart Lucy for “shore” ;-))

  6. PhilaPreservation Feb 11, 2011 at 21:13

    Do not miss these gems in Philadelphia proper:

    Melrose Diner

    Termini Bakery

    The Trolley Car Diner and the Trolley Car Cafe:

    Essene Market:

    Franklin Fountain:

    And of course, there’s the cheesesteaks:




    • Mod Betty / Feb 12, 2011 at 08:22

      oh how exciting- I’ve been to a few of these, and a few are on my to-do list, but there are a couple I’ve never heard of – thanks!!

    • Amy Feb 12, 2011 at 10:16

      OMG- Termini’s! Yes yes yes! Thanks a lot, now I need the most amazing cannoli I’ve ever eaten again. 😛

      • Mod Betty / Feb 12, 2011 at 19:32

        I have been told I’ll love Terminis – by Len Davidson who wrote the book on Neon even, but I didn’t get to make it there today b/c I got a late start. Funny that we’ve lived outside of Philly for 6+ years – more if you count our years in NCC Delaware, but I somehow always venture “out” on my adventures, not really “in” to the city. Once the weather gets better I’ll have to remedy that proper!

  7. Amy Feb 11, 2011 at 21:57

    I’ve always meant to go to Del Buono’s bakery. It looks so neat with all the stuff out front, and on top of, the building. 🙂 Oh, and I so agree with Storybook Land, the hubcap tree (near Storybook Land) and Smithville (lots of nice shops, though a few of my favorites are Cooks Corner, Little Egg Harbor Soap Company, Ireland & Old Lace, and Tomasello Winery).

    There are two Weber’s, the one in Pennsauken on 38, and the other in Brooklawn with the absolutely terrible mini golf that is somehow amazingly still open. We headed there to play mini golf two summers ago, led by our BOGO mini golf coupon from the Entertainment Book. I love me some mini golf, and I am forgiving, but that was the most neglected and flat-out abused course ever. The water was dark and stagnant, and there was even an exposed electrical line just laying there. Anywho, I’ve only ever eaten at the one in Pennsauken and have been quite pleased there. 🙂

    My brother LOVED J&O Fabric. I remember him purchasing this glittery blue vinyl type fabric, the kind you use for upholstery, to fabricate a new seat for his moped. I believe he also used it to make saddle bags out of. Lots of great vintage finds there.

    • Mod Betty / Feb 11, 2011 at 22:58

      Amy- after I left that post I took a look at my NJ map and indeed I realized that while the 2 of the Webers’ seemed close together in my mind, they aren’t that close. I really like the one on 38 too – it seems very well cared for, where the other had a twinge of sadness to it (as you saw from the mini golf place) OH how I’d love to be able to transform that, I mean seriously, a Root Beer stand with mini golf, to me that’s a RetroRoadmap goldmine!

      I’m also having a bit of trouble pinpointing the Webers that I took a photo of last summer, but may swing by where I think it is. I recall the waitress telling me that the woman who owned it had owned it since it opened, which I think is tres cool – just some of these seasonal businesses are hard to research since they appear to be closed for months, but are just in hibernation!

      I’ve driven past Del Buono’s but never ventured inside- perhaps tomorrow could be the day!

  8. Amy Feb 11, 2011 at 22:00

    Sorry, one more, Pleasant Valley Miniature Golf on 73 South in Voorhees. Family owned and operated since 1972, it’s not only extremely well-maintained, but kitschy too. Oh, and their water ice is quite good too! Of course they’re not open for the season yet, but try to check them out when you can. See:

  9. Amy Feb 11, 2011 at 22:03

    Aaaaaaaaaand….I can’t shut up. Sorry….

    BUT, I passed by Roney’s about a week ago and they still appear to be alive and kicking.

    Okay now, hope you have a fun weekend! 🙂

  10. Mod Betty / Feb 11, 2011 at 23:01

    Added the mini golf to my map to check out and glad to hear about Roney’s – I had read last year ? that they were going to have to close b/c the road was going to be widened.

    And here’s a related post on Drawing For Food about The Pub!

    Thanks truly for all the tips!!