5-7-9 North 4th Street
Southwest Corner of North 4th and Arch Streets

5-7-9 North 4th Street was operating a bar by 1936, when it was known as the Big Horn Cafe. Antonio Panetta, of 1200 Jackson Street, Camden, was the proprietor. It was named for a pair of longhorn steer horns which hung in the bar. When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, The Big Horn Cafe was the first bar to be licensed.

Antonio Panetta was born in Italy around 1887. He had come to America in 1900. Married to his wife Mary around 1909, he was working as a waiter in a cafe at the time of the 1920 Census. At that time Antonio and Mary Panetta were living at 1200 Van Hook Street in Camden's Whitman Park section with their six children. More children would follow in the 1920s.

By 1947 Antonio Panetta had passed away. The bar was then being run by his widow, Mary Panetta. A son, Leonard worked at the bar, and son, Antonio Jr., who lived in the Delair section of Pennsauken NJ, also worked tended the bar, as did a third son Gus. By 1954 the family had incorporated as Len Ton Inc. 

The 5-7-9 North 4th Street bar was renamed as the Center Tavern. The Center Tavern remained open on North 4th Street through 1966. The bar is not listed in the 1970 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory, and the building in which it stood has been gone for many years. The family sold the bar to the City of Camden, and was razed as part of an urban renewal project which.

This photo is of my grandparents, Anthony and Mary Panetta, that were the owners of the Big Horn Cafe at 4th and Arch Streets in Camden. Anthony in the front, Mary second from left. I don't know the others in photo. - Dianne Weyant

Camden Courier-Post - February 15, 1938


Antonio Panetta, 52, proprietor of the Big Horn Grille, Fourth and Arch streets, was arrested yesterday on a warrant by Patrolman John V. Wilkie.

Panetta was charged with violating the city ordinance forbidding the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors. Wilkie said the warrant was based on statements obtained from several persons less than 21 years of age.

Camden Courier-Post - February 16, 1938

Girl Tells in Court of Twice Buying Beer But He Assails Her Story

Arrested on a charge of violating the city ordinance forbidding the sale of 
alcoholic beverages to minors, Antonio Panetta, 52, proprietor of a cafe at Fourth and Arch streetss, was found not guilty by Police Judge Mariano yesterday.

Panetta was arrested by Patrolman John V. Wilkie after Wilkie said he acted 
on a statement made to him by Nora Williams, 18, of 625 North Front street.

The girl testified she and several other girls bought beer in the place last Christmas night and again on New Year's Eve, from two waitresses whom she described as "Betty" and "Harriet." She declared she had bought beer on several previous occasions at the cafe, and identified Elizabeth Matlack, 1287 Thurman street, as "Betty."

Panetta testified he "keeps a strict watch" on his place and that the girl could 
not have been served without him knowing it. He said whenever he thinks a customer is under age, he gets the suspected person to sign a card. He said he was in his establishment on both nights when the girl alleged she got beer, but had not seen her there. Mrs. Panetta corroborated her husband's testimony and the waitress denied serving the girl.

Prosecutor Mitchell Cohen asked that a conviction be found, pointing out that the girl was the only "disinterested witness," while the others were "members of the family and an employee."

Carlton W. Rowand, attorney for Panetta, wanted to know "if these things 
happened on those days, why the warrant was not issued until yesterday." 

Judge Mariano replied that the "information did not reach the police department until a few days ago."

In freeing Panetta Judge Mariano declared the state "had not borne the burden of proof and that the benefit of the doubt must be given to the defendant."


Camden Courier-Post
February 24, 1938

Eagles Hall
Washington Street



Hi-Hat Club - Bridge Cafe - Kernan's Cafe- Harry's Taproom - Clancy's Cafe - Big Ed's Place
Larry's Cafe - Lynch's Cafe - Morgan's Cafe - Nittinger's Cafe
Big Horn Cafe - Jack's Grille - Cooperson's Auto Body - Scotty's Thist'es
Vari's Cafe -
Davalo's Cafe - Bush's Cafe - La Victoria - Shantytown Cafe - Billy's Cafe
Phil Hart's Cafe -
Pavonia House - White Owl Inn - George's Grill - Dick's Rendezvous
Dragon Inn - Royal Inn -
Bismark Cafe
Ginger's Cafe - Daly's Cafe - Kenure's Cafe - Knauer's Cafe - Oaklyn Inn - Bellevue Inn
Fourteenth Ward Democrat Club - Blanche's Cafe - Duke Gartland's - Regan's Cafe
Bettlewood Cafe - Mulvihill's Cafe - Barrington Cafe - Chews Landing Hotel - Blackwood Cafe
Laurel Inn - Starr's Cafe - Gruber's Inn - Welcome Inn - Somerdale Bowling Alley

April 20, 1959
Program Advertisement

Veteran's Boxing Association Ring No. 6

Thanks to Dianne Weyant for her help in creating this page.