900 South 4th Street
Southeast Corner of South 4th Street & Spruce Street

900 South 4th Street was open as a tavern before Prohibition. Domenico Palese was listed as the proprietor in the 1918-1919 Camden City Directory. He passed away before the 1930 census was taken. The Palese family remained at 900 South 4th street through 1930, when the census was taken. His widow, Lucia Palese is listed as the owner of a "soft drinks" business in the 1931 Camden City Directory, Prohibition being the law of the land at the time, a listing as a bar , saloon, or tavern would have been out of the question. 

In 1920 the Sons of Italy dedicated a lodge on January 18, 1920 at South 4th Street and Spruce Street. I believe that they were then using the 900 South 4th Street building.  

The Palese family apparently obtained a liquor license after Prohibition was repealed in 1933. The Camden Courier-Post reported in 1939 that Joseph Palese had obtained a liquor license renewal in June of 1939, and Lucia Palese was listed in the 1940 City Directory as the owner. It appears that the Sons of Italy had moved to another location by 1939, 440 Spruce Street.

By 1943 the bar had apparently changed hands. Louis Palato is the listee in the 1943 and 1947 Camden City Directories. He resided there with his wife Cecelia in these years. Their sons, Charles and Henry Palato also worked there as bartenders.

Louis Palato and his wife were both immigrants from Brazil, of Italian heritage. The arrived in America before World War I, and were married around 1912. The 1930 census shows that Louis Palato and family were living at 409 South 5th Street, and Louis Palato was working as ice cream salesman.

The Palato family does not appear in the 1959 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory for Camden County. The building was then listed as the Vittorio Veneto Lodge. The Vittorio Veneto Lodge No. 1378 had been located at 440 Spruce Street in the late 1930s, and had received a liquor license renewal in 1939 at that address.

The former Vittorio Veneto Lodge
900 South 4th Street - November 9, 2003

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