A 2002 Tour of the East Side
By Don Browne, Harding Class of 1962
We briefly spoke about my eight-hour journey through Bridgeport, on Saturday, November 23, 2002, to find out what happened to all our favorite East Side memories.
Alas...they are all gone...save two; White's Diner is still in business on Boston Ave, just west of Noble Avenue, and Tomlinson's has built a "sit-down" restaurant on their original site, 1400 Noble Avenue, just north of Boston Avenue. I talked to the owner's son and he said the original "refreshment stand" (a take-out only shack) was pulled down on/about November 8, 1999.
I also noted the demolition of Briarwood's and the end of business for Fairway Restaurant (East Main), Ocean Sea Grill (the "class" seafood restaurant of the 50s and 60s on Main at Congress), and the demolition of the Esquire Diner (the railroad-car styled diner at the corner of Main and Congress). Paul's Apizza on East Main is gone. The "Newsroom" at Main and State is gone...a place that survived more that 40 years!
I did drive by the original "C & C Apizza" location at the SW corner of Connecticut and Carroll---the storefront was boarded-up.
Also boarded-up was Blessed Sacrament and the additional building.
I never realized that Blessed Sacrament was across the street from the Connecticut Turnpike....just like my grammar school, Franklin Elementary, on Nickols Street between East Main and Pembroke. I remember watching the first traffic drive past, from the second floor classroom window, in 1957.
Three items from your "Do You Remember........?" section come to mind:
1. "Eating pizza at the Little Casino on Hallett Street"; Was this the small restaurant with the Italian (Mafia) social club in the backroom? I can't seem to remember where this was.
Hallett Street above Stillman has been destroyed---there is an extensive middle school built where the street used to be---no longer access to Hallett from Boston Avenue.
2. "The Carousel" on Boston Ave near GE; Was this that diner on the southside of Boston Ave between Sheridan Street and Bell Street?
3. "Hugo, the Newfield Park groundskeeper in the 1950s"; As grammar school kids in the 1950s, there were many stories about the mysterious "Hugo"! For example... Did Hugo really live in the lawnmower storage room attached to the public restroom building in the park? Like the Bill Murray character, "Carl Spackler", in the theatrical motion picture, "Caddyshack" (1980)?
BTW, I found where Summerfield School was located, the SW corner of Summerfield and Grant, between Barnum and Grant. The school playground faced the parking area for the (then) Columbia Records Manufacturing Plant.
And Hall School, at 340 Clermont Avenue. Still up!!!
And they knocked down the legendary Press Box at Hedges Memorial Stadium, along with ALL the bleachers!!!
Don Browne (Harding Class of '62)
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