Max Weisfeld was born in what was then Russia in 1873. He married his wife Rose around the turn of the century. In 1901 a son, Isadore, was born. Another son, Jacob, was born in February of 1903. The Weisfeld family was then living in the Vilna guberniya (province) of Russia, which is now a part of Lithuania.
Max Weisfeld came to America shortly after the birth of Jacob Weisfeld. He was able to bring his wife and sons to America in 1906. After living in Pennsylvania for a short time, the Weisfeld family settled in Camden NJ, where son Maurice (aka Morris) was born, in 1909. Two more children came later, Sarah, and Henry Weisfeld
At the time of the 1920 Census, the Weisfeld family resided at 616 Kaighn Avenue, where Max Weisfeld had a grocery store. Isadore Weisfeld was working at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, while Jacob "Jack" Weisfeld was working as an errand boy at an optical business. When Maurice graduated from Camden High school in 1926, the family lived at 701 Sycamore Street.
By 1928 the Weisfeld family resided in a home they had purchased at 789 Chestnut Street, which had been a saloon in the the years before Prohibition. Max Weisfeld was active in the affairs of the local Jewish community, was a member of the Sons of Israel Society, and was a member of the Sons of Israel synagogue, which was located only one block away at South 8th & Sycamore Streets.
At the time of the 1930 Census, Max Weisfeld and his two older sons had a junk business at 804 Atlantic Avenue. The bar was operating, but only could legally serve near beer. When Prohibition was repealed, liquor licenses apparently were grand-fathered back to the buildings where they once were. Max Weisfeld obtained a license for 789 Chestnut Street. Max Weisfeld would run the bar until his death in 1942. Tragedy struck the Weisfeld family when oldest son Isadore died three months after his father. The Weisfeld family would remain at 789 Chestnut Street, and operate the bar, known as Weisfeld's Cafe, well into the 1970s. Daughter Sara Weisfeld lived above the bar during this entire period, before moving to Cherry Hill some time after 1970. She passed away in January of 1980.
The bar would then change hands at least three times during the 1970s and 1980s. At some point during this time, Camden political figure Theodore "Teddy" Hinson was involved in the bar's ownership. The bar appears in the 1980 and 1981 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directories as Just Pals. It was also known at some point at Mommie's.
In the late 1980s the property at 789 Chestnut Street was purchased by by Betty Sawyer, who renamed the bar Krystal Lounge, after her infant grand-daughter. She operated the bar until her death in 1992. After Ms. Sawyer passed, the bar was purchased by two partners, Lloyd Pugh and Diane Burnette, who had been Ms. Sawyer's manager, in July of 1992. In the late 1990s, Mr. Pugh bought out Ms. Burnette's interest in the bar. Krystal Lounge remains open in 2008, one of the few bars that has survived in South Camden.
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