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Hy Tavern’s Outside Façade Suffers Partial Collapse

The Historic Hy Tavern on High Street. *Photos by Katherine Massopust

The Historic Hy Tavern on High Street.
*Photos by Katherine Massopust

See slide show at bottom of story.

By: Carolyn Maxwell and Katherine Massopust

PERTH AMBOY – Hy Tavern, a neighborhood bar located at 386 High St., Perth Amboy suffered a partial collapse of its side wall façade early Friday morning (3/4/16). The Amboy Guardian spoke with Shirley Santos who is the daughter of the owner of Hy Tavern, who also resides in one of the upstairs apartments. We asked her if she could send us some information of what happened that day.

Here is her account:

“Around 5:20 a.m. on Friday, March 4th residents were awakened by police and firemen banging on the door. The residents were  informed to grab necessary items and to immediately vacate the building. All the utilities to the building were shut off as a precaution after the residents were vacated. Maria Santos, the owner of the building is the daughter of Delores and Gary Hermann who were Hy Tavern’s original owners.”

She said, “This great old building has survived a lot worse than a few loose bricks. We were lucky to have made it through Hurricane Sandy when a lot of other buildings have suffered a great loss. The Hy Tavern has been family owned since January 3, 1969. The tavern holds the second oldest liquor license in the City. (The oldest one is Gast Liquors located on State Street.) Former Historic Preservation Chair Russell O’Reilly believes the building dates back to 1857 and it’s first use was a two-family house.”

O’Reilly believes that after the Civil War is when the building was listed as a saloon. “We don’t know what it was during Prohibition,” O’Reilly stated.

Shirley Santos stated, “My apartment is located above the side of the building where the façade crumbled, I never heard a thing. The Police, Fire Trucks, Ambulances were all there, including some of the news media. As people were driving by, they slowed down and looked at us as if something major had occurred,” Santos said.

Besides O’Reilly and Santos, the Amboy Guardian reached out to City Historian Anton Massopust who stated that he believes the building has survived major Smith Street fires in the past.

Besides fires, the building has endured natural disasters. “Hy Tavern has withstood everything,” Santos said. It was left unscathed after several minor earthquakes over the years.”

The Hy Tavern has had fundraisers for various causes such as: Breast Cancer Awareness, Alzheimer’s, etc. Check Presentations have been given to the Jewish Renaissance for Women’s Health Services and other causes.

Marie stated that repairs would begin as soon as all necessary plans and permits were gathered and was hopeful the business would be open in a few weeks.”

“It looks like we’re going to miss St. Patrick’s Day, but we’re hoping to be open by the first week in April,” Santos stated.

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Perth Amboy Calendar

MON. Jan 22
• City Council, Caucus,
4:30 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

WED. Jan 24
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

THURS. Jan 25
• Historic Preservation Commission
7 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

MON. Jan 29
• Special Public Meeting, RE: Discussion of Rezoning Ordinance
6 p.m.
City Hall, High St.

 

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South Amboy Calendar

WED. Jan. 31
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

WED. Feb. 7
• City Council, Business,
6 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

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