Two-Ton Tommy and his criminal cohorts

I’m not a fan of Gatsby parties and all that, really. But when my favorite pub celebrated its 80th anniversary with a ’30s themed party, I spiffed myself up into my best and joined friends in joining the Cloverleaf Tavern‘s octogennial festivities. The Cloverleaf was opened by George Dorchak, Jr in 1933, after the repeal of Prohibition. It holds the first liquor license in the town of Caldwell, New Jersey, best known to outsiders as the town Tony Soprano lived in. 

I found the ‘Leaf when my Uncle Paul said he heard they had a good burger, back in ’98 or so. The burger was memorable enough that when I began dating my wife Firecracker, I took her there for a burger and a hefewiezen. And a romance was born. (Between us and the Cloverleaf). Now we are both Triple PhDs in their beer loyalty programs, which means every draft we order comes in that bucket in my hand they call a stein:

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They had a hand-typed menu that evening with 80 cent sliders and pigskins- pulled pork topped potato wedges- plus $8 Clo-Vermontster burgers (a maple infused burger with maple bacon, which was a tad odd, but tasty) chicken in a basket, fish ‘n chips, and five 80-cent brews: Ballantine, Schmidt’s, Piel’s, Carling Black Label and Pabst, I think… we didn’t get that far! My stein’s full of Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere IPA, great stuff. They also had a cigar roller on the patio, and I partook of a mild one. I haven’t smoked in years, but it felt right. Here are some photos of my friends Kim, Gabi, Mike and Dave hamming it up in their duds.

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PS, my criminal nickname is a tip of the fedora to showboat boxer Two-Ton Tony Galento. One of these days I’ll write about him:

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