The Clam Broth House
A restaurant in the old, famous city of Hoboken, New Jersey.
Backstory and Context
The Clam Broth House has been recognized by the television lights and cameras since 1899. The “bone broth” of the day was the perfect cure for taking the edge off from even the most severe hangover. The floors were covered with sawdust and the language was “as salty as the peanuts.” The world-famous Clam Broth House sign is located on the corner of River and Hudson Street, making it an icon for over a century. The big hand drew in Hudson area’s workers from the surrounding trains and ferries. This place was not just known for its broth, but it was a center for many televised interviews with male chauvinists on the inside and women protesting for their rights outside the front door.
The Clam Broth House was a familiar spot for many famous icons during the twentieth century. Frank Sinatra liked to spend time enjoying a bucket of “steamers” before and after his rise to fame, along with other well-known stars such as Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger and Karl Malden. In 1954, Lee J. Cobb was often seen at this spot during the making of the movie On the Waterfront in Hoboken. America’s twenty-eighth president, Woodrow Wilson addressed troops leaving for and returning from World War I from the Clam Broth House balcony.
In 2003, a few years after The Clam Broth House closed its doors, the building was showing signs of extreme disrepair to the point that it was condemned. Since then, another restaurant called Biggie’s Clam Bar was put in place of the original place, however, the famous pointing hand has sat unlit for almost two decades before it was brought back to its glory.
“Having the historic sign restored after decades of being dark, reminds us all of Hoboken’s iconic industrial past and our connection to shipping and the sea,” says Hoboken First Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco. “I thank the new ownership of REIGN for their investment and dedication to making our downtown community a unique destination.”