In the early 1930′s, the Camden Central Airport was constructed on a large, open lot on the southeast side of what was to become known as The Airport Circle. Camden Central was a major airfield for the metropolitan Philadelphia area and was a major connection for the greater Delaware Valley area to the rest of the world. The air field flourished due to its proximity to Philadelphia and Camden, two of the largest cities on the east coast at the time.
The building that The Pub currently occupies was built in the 1930′s and originally started life as a nightclub called “Neil Deighan’s”. Neil Deighan was a local celebrity of sorts and an accomplished minor league baseball player and professional basketball player. When he retired from sports, he was the founder of the New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association. He had several restaurants and bars in the area but his real fame and what made him a household name in the area was his restaurant named after him at the Airport Circle. In the late 1940′s, “Neil Deighan’s” briefly became known as “Club Shaguire”.
However, the name and current ownership did not last long. In 1950, the building was bought and renovated by three families that went in to business together. They renamed their new restaurant The Pub and opened the doors for business in 1951. This however was not the first Pub and just one location in a local franchise with locations in Philadelphia at 1421 Sansom St., 15th and Chestnut, 17th and Walnut and one on Allegheny Ave. The Pub in Pennsauken is the only one left with all others closing by the mid-1980′s when the leases ran out and were not renewed.
In 1960, The Pub burned to the ground in a catastrophic fire. It was summarily rebuilt and has been standing ever since. The original construction in 1950 was a large, Tudor-themed building. It has a gigantic open hearth with charcoal fired ovens. This gives The Pub a uniqueness that is not found in any other steakhouse in the area.
The decor inside has a medieval flare with Olde English type stone floors and stained glass windows. There are gallows, swords and banners hanging on the walls. The dining room, while large, is dominated on one wall by the large hearth, manned by several chefs dressed in white aprons and chef’s toques. The outside is deceiving with a plain white building with colorful shields hanging on the side. These are small cues that do no justice in conveying the atmosphere inside.
The Pub is and always has been a local institution. A family steakhouse, the atmosphere is warm and inviting and a mix of cultural Americana from the 50′s through to the present. The influences can be seen everywhere you look. The building is as much a feast for the eyes as the culinary feast that is prepared there daily. It is clear to anyone that walks through the heavy wooden doors that this is someplace special. The Pub’s history dates back to the 1920′s and 30′s and was a central landmark in the Pennsauken/Cherry Hill areas throughout the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s with many celebrities, bands and other stars making their way through the local hot spots. It has been a family tradition for decades.
In recent history, The Pub closed it doors but fortunately, not for long! The current ownership partnered together, bought the site and reopened The Pub with very little change. They recognized a South Jersey institution for what it was, put the business back together and opened the doors to the people of Pennsauken and the surrounding area once again.
We still make just about everything we serve from the zucchini bread at the giant salad bars to the cranberry sauce. Some things have been changed to keep up with stiff competition from national chains and local restaurants.
The menu has been expanded with the original menu having no more than 14 items. It now covers an extensive line of seafood, poultry and other entrees totalling over 75 different items on the menu. However, we still have the hometown favorites that made The Pub a family favorite!
The Pub pretty much stands today as it did in 1950. Very little has changed and after the fire in 1960, it was restored to its original 1950′s condition. The kitchen includes the 6 giant, charcoal fired hearths which share the same room as the dining room.
The dining room is quite impressive itself with large, vaulted ceilings and wide, wooden support beams which give the very large room a deceivingly cozy atmosphere. The dining room can accommodate 500 guests and will serve as many as 1500 guests on a Saturday night.
There is also a large bar and casual dining area which features large screen TVs and live entertainment on certain days. The bar is a classic wooden bar with brass fixtures and large kegs mounted on the wall with The Pub’s crest and name emblazoned on the ends.
Even though the size of The Pub can seem daunting, even when The Pub is full, there is enough space to seat patrons comfortably and keep noise levels low.