A Trip Down the Streets of Duquesne

Well, after a lot of work, I have finished a project that I think you might find enjoyable. Our friend, Jim Hartman, at the Mifflin Township Historical Society, graciously shared a copy of a 1940 Duquesne City Directory that was published by the Duquesne Police Pension Fund. Listed in this publication are over 180 businesses in Duquesne that contributed to the fund and as a result had their business listed. I am certain that there were other beyond the 180 listed who were unable to contribute, so this is by no means a definitive list of ALL businesses in Duquesne, only the ones who paid to advertise.

Now, with that said, I am sure that many of these businesses had closed or were renamed by the time I was born in 1951. However, I recall a surprising number of them. They are listed by name, either of the business or the owner. Although 1940 doesn’t see too long ago, this listing will provide a snapshot of what Duquesne was like over 70 years ago.

I’d be curious to see how many you recall and if any had been renamed in subsequent, what might we better know them as? Have fun check this info out. I was amazed to how many groceries and cafes there were!! I may have miscounted, but it apprears that there were at least 35 food markets of one type or another, 33 bars (aka – cafes). 

The last column on the chart indicates what the business was all about, if they happened to put that information in their ad. I find it amusing to see how many cafes claim to have the best beer in town! Who knew?!?!?!

Enjoy this trip down the main streets and side streets of Duquesne in the 40’s!!

Business Name

Street Number

Street

Ad Info

Adler Company

27

W. Grant Ave.

Duquesne’s Complete Men’s Store – George R. Adler, Manager

Agie’s Mobile Service

993

S. Duquesne Ave.

Tires – Radios – Batteries – Washing – Simonizing

American Legion Hall

321

Priscilla Ave

C.W. Allenbrand & Son

51

N. First St.

Morticians – “50 years of Dependable Service”

Angelo Ellas and Jimmie Svetan Restaurant

Milford St

Beer – Wine – Liquor   –   Open Day and Night

Aristocrat Gardens

802

S. Duquesne Ave.

Dine and Dance Every Tuesday and Friday   –   No Cover Charge

John Ashoff Restaurant and Café

W. Grant Ave.

Avenue News

107

W. Grant Ave.

Papers, Magazines, Soft Drinks, Candy, Tobacco, Hot Roasted Peanuts and Popcorn

B.K. Service Station

201

N. Second Street

Noble E. Bowers & Lawrence E. Kelly

B.K. Service Station

448

S. Duquesne Ave.

Noble E. Bowers & Lawrence E. Kelly

Milan Babic

117

Overland Ave

Groceries and Meats – United Service Food Store

Milan Babic

102

River Ave.

Groceries and Meats – United Service Food Store

William Bedont – Fire Insurance

909

S. Duquesne Ave.

Bennett’s

18

Aurilles St.

Confections, Tobacco, Ice Cream

Benovitz’s Markets

85

N. First Street

For Better Meats and Groceries at Reasonable Prices

Benovitz’s Markets

1300

Kennedy Ave.

For Better Meats and Groceries at Reasonable Prices

Morris Berger

417

S. First Street

Fancy Fruits – Groceries – Meats

Benovitz Refrigeration Co.

112

W. Grant Ave.

Frigidaires, Magic Chef Stoves, Radios, Washers, Ironers, Sweepers

Benovitz Style Shoppe

106

W. Grant Ave.

First With the Best of the New    “Style Without Extravagance”

Better Dairy Stores

704

W. Grant Ave.

Better Dairy Stores

322

S. Second St.

Better Food Market

501

Priscilla Ave

Quality Groceries – John Harapas, Prop.

Daniel Bilan Confectionery

318

S. Second St.

Bires

808

W. Grant Ave.

Battery and Ignition Service – J.W.Bires- Prop.  –  Bires and Delco Batteries   –   Seiberling and Pennsylvania Tires

Book Shoe Co.

108

W. Grant Ave.

Foot Wear For All The Family

Bob’s Poultry Market

38

N. First St.

Complete Line of Poultry and Eggs

Bodnar Bros.

305

Patterson Ave.

Fruit and Produce

A. J. Brown Groceries

32

S. Fourth St.

J. Bujdos

Fruits and Produce

Burstin’s Market

218

Hamilton Ave.

Butch’s Wonder Bar

170

Milford St

Bob Campbell Confectionery

2

N. Duquesne Ave

Louis Coltin

204

W. Grant Ave.

Meats – Groceries – Fruits – Butter – Eggs – Cheese

Butler Bros.

818

W. Grant Ave.

Prescriptions – We Call For and Deliver – Night Service – James C Butler, Ph.G   –  Cyril D. Butler, Ph.G.

Mary Dolores Butler’s Marigold

155

Duquesne Blvd

Kennywood, PA.

I. Coltin

506

W. Grant Ave.

Meats and Groceries

Crawford Billiards Confectionery

909

Crawford Avenue

Joseph Oliver – Soft Drinks

Cray Bros.

603

Walnut Street – McKeesport

Stationery and Complete line of office supplies and equipment

Andrew Danzak Schaming Hotel

322

S. Fourth St.

For the best beer in town

Doreen Dress Shop

Plaza Bldg.

Everything a Lady Wants for Holidays

Drake Benedict Restaurant and Café

331

S. First Street

Duquesne Baking Company

15-17

Superior St.

Quality Bakers – Bakers of Bread, Pies, Rolls, Cakes. Wedding cakes our specialty

Duquesne Building and Supply – J.H.Kampman

Camp & S. Duquesne Ave.

Everything to build anything

Duquesne City Bank

Grant Ave & N. 1st St.

Duquesne Coal Co. – Alfred Fontanesi

1201

S. Duquesne Ave.

Coal Yard at Bridge

Duquesne Dairy Products

Milk-Cream-Buttermilk

Duquesne Motor Service

78-80

N. First St.

Pontiac Sales and Service

Duquesne Transfer – N. Williams

72

N. First St.

Eagle Drug Store

116

W. Grant Ave.

Reliable Drug Store Service

Eagles – Fraternal Order of the Eagles     Number 1087

29

N. Duquesne Ave

Edward Fey – Real Estate and Insurance

N. First St.

Elite Restaurant & Bar

844

W. Grant Ave.

We serve the best beer in town – Michelob and Budweiser

Erwin Market-Quality Meats

828

W. Grant Ave.

M. Izydore, Prop.  Groceries, Fruits, Produce – Free Delivery

Escovitz Furniture Company

Duquesne’s Oldest Furniture Store – Good Furniture at a Lower Price

Essner Service Station

6

Duquesne Blvd

Kennywood, PA

Farkas Rendezvous Café

2

Hamilton Ave.

Wines-Liquors-Beers

Feldman’s Quality Market

201

S. Fifth St.

Fresh Meats and Groceries – Butter, Eggs and Cheese

Fey’s Restaurant

5

N. Duquesne Ave

It Pays To Eat At Feys

First National Bank

Grant and S.Duquesne Blvd

G.B.U. – German Beneficial Union – District 64

208

S. Fifth St.

A National Organization “As Old As The Hills” Arthur Hilgert, Secretary

Gab’s Service Station

352

S. Duquesne Ave.

Gallagher’s

Grant and Fifth

Prescription Druggist

Goltz’s

69

N. First St.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Received Daily

Grant Ave. Hotel

Grant Ave.

Rooms and Board – A. Slavin, Prop.

Gravity Fill Service Stations

S. Duquesne at Patterson – also – Norman St at W. Grant

Green Gables Inn

Duquesne Blvd

You Can Eat, Drink and Be Merry  Dining, Dancing, Music – Pete Loncarich, Prop. – Near Kennywood Bridge

Green’s

24

W. Grant Ave.

Reliable Mean’s Wearing Apparel

Gross Bros.

32

Linden Ave

Meats and Groceries

Gypsy Tavern

30

Milford St

Dancing Every Thur. and Sat.

Haller’s “Oven to Home Service”

Brings the Bakery to your Door. The Haller Man comes, you select what pleases you, and you’re sure it’s Fresh, Clean, Tasty, Wholesome – HALLER BAKING CO.

J. Dubyak Bros.

421

Cedar St.

Fancy Fruits and Vegetables

Kooler-Keg – Bill Garvin’s

1

Duquesne Blvd

We serve the best beer in town – Light Lunches – Liquors

Meyer Finkelstein’s – Grand Leader

32

N. First St.

Bargain Center

S. Farkas Restaurant and Café

607

W. Grant Ave.

T.M.C. Club

208

S. Fifth St.

Joseph Gross Garage

55

N. Duquesne Ave

Lighted and Fireproof Bldg. – Car and Truck Storage – Coal – Coke – and General Hauling  – Cities Service Gas and Oil

Helmstadter’s Department Store

Fifth and Jerome Blvd. – McKeesport

McKeesport’s Best Store for Values

Hilltop Dairy Store

1309

Kennedy Ave.

Confectionery, Ice Cream, Candy, Sandwiches

Horgas Cafe

23

Patterson Ave.

Joseph Horgas

Hotel-Café Restaurant

Charles Hrebenich

Robert H. Hunt

25

W. Grant Ave.

Maytag Washers – G.E. Hotpoint Refrigerators – RCA and Philco Radios  –  Duquesne’s Oldest Electrical Dealer

Hirshberg’s Furniture Co.

331

Fifth Ave. McKeesport

We furnish your home complete

Hungarian 1st Self Culture Club

521

W. Grant Ave.

Founded August 21, 1921 – Sick Benefit – $6 weekly – Monthly dues – 50¢

IRON CITY – Lager and Pilsner Beer

Every bottle flavor sealed. Every taste a treat! Pittsburgh Brewing Co., Pittsburgh, PA. Schenley 7400

Ikach Restaurant and Bar

6

Superior St.

Izydore Grocery

26

Linden Ave

Henry Izydore

154

Aurilles St.

Groceries and Meats

Izydore’s Kennedy Market

1311

Kennedy Ave.

Meats and Groceries

John’s Café

13

Patterson Ave.

Beer – Liquor – Lunch

Jones Department Store

Grant and First

Known for Quality and Price

Harry Katz

41

N. First St.

Clothing and Gent’s Furnishings

Kessler’s

Plaza Bldg.

Men’s Wear

Sam Kecman’s Confectionery

107

Superior St.

Dad Kelly’s Place

198

E. Duquesne Ave and Oliver

Meet Me At Dad Kelly’s Place        The Store of Satisfied Customers – Open 6 a.m. till 12 midnight

C.Dewain King

17

W. Grant Ave.

Diamonds – Watches – Jewelry     Watch, Clock and Jewelry Repairing

Kirschbaum Bros. Jewelers

122

W. Grant Ave.

Elgin, Hamilton, Bulova Watches Philco Radios – Easy Credit

Klein’s

49

Superior St.

Home Made Ice Cream

Efon Kondrat

305

Hamilton Ave.

Quality Meats and Groceries – Live Poultry

Kopriver’s

112

Dell St.

Duquesne’s Only Greenhouses – Duquesne’s Oldest Florist – Flowers for all occasions

Stanley Kondrat

Grant Ave and Fifth

Meat Market and Poultry

Kovac Restaurant and Café

406

S. Second St.

John Kraynak

21

 Patterson Ave

Meats and Groceries

Kroeger Printing Company

2

Ross St.

Job Printing – Book Printing – Stationery Printing – Dodgers and Circulars

Laban’s Confectionery

203

S. Fifth St.

Soft Drinks, Candies, Ice Cream, Cigars

Lawrence the Florist

417

Ringgold St. McKeesport

Levine Bros. Hardware

28-30

N. First St.

Duquesne’s Busiest Store – House Furnishings, Electrical Supplies, Plumbing Supplies, Building Hardware, Plate Glass, Paints, Furnace, and Roofing

Biggie Linn Restaurant and Café

We Cater to Parties

Steve Legin Restaurant and Café

700

S. Duquesne Ave.

J.L. Lips

31

W. Grant Ave.

For your next pair of shoes

Long’s Confectionery

Kennedy and Peter Streets

Ice Cream, Candy, Tobacco

P.J. Long

214

W. Grant Ave.

Real Estate and Insurance

Maloy Funeral Service

616

W. Grant Ave.

Leo A. Maloy

B.J. Maloy

Fifth and Priscilla

Groceries and Confectionery

Benny Markowitz

39

Patterson Ave.

Meats and Groceries

Marcovsky Linden Grill

44

Linden Ave

The Daily News

Jerome Blvd at Walnut Street – McKeesport

It’s more than a newspaper, it’s a community institution

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

1730

Highland Ave.

Ivor Richards – Duquesne Representative

Mervos Pharmacy

98

N. First St.

Precriptions a Specialty

Milford Hardware and Plumbing

68

Milford St

Registered Plumber

Miller Supply Co.

301

E. Duquesne Ave

Dealers in Building Supplies – Ready Mixed Concrete – Sand – Gravel – Lime  –  Universal and Crescent Cement

Miller’s Army and Navy

126

W. Grant Ave.

Everything for the workingman

Milford Beer Garden

108

Milford St

Dine and Dance at Evon’s – Beer, Whiskey – Dancing every Wednesday and Sat. Night

Miller’s Confectionery

126

Aurilles St.

Lunches and Magazines

Milton’s Shoe Store (later became Karen’s Shoe Store)

S. First Street

Next to Plaza Theatre – Buster Brown Shoes for Boys and Girls – Air-Step, Fashion Built and other Famous Makes  –  Robiee-Freeman and Brown Bilt Shoes for women – Open every evening

Loyal Order of Moose

509 W. Grant Ave.                                                                                                     Duquesne Lodge Number 75                                                                                       Leo A. Maloy – Governor, George Gruber – Jr. Governor, Gregor Manns – Prelate, Frank L Nau – Secretary, Charles Mewherter – Treasurer, Wib C. Schorr – Sgt. Of Arms, Theodore Laaks – Trustee, Edward Schorr – Trustee, Lawrence Bickar – Trustee                            “GOD BLESS MOOSEHEART”

Ector Morini Groceries and Meats

907

S.Duquesne Ave

United Service Food Store

G.C.Murphy Co.

S. Grant Ave.

5 & 10 cent store – with merchandise up to $2 – Open every night till 9 to serve you better

Edward Muska Merchant Tailor

436

S.Duquesne Ave

Suits $27 up  –  Cleaning, Pressing, Repairing  –  All work Guaranteed – Dependable Service

Nathenson Bros.

515

W. Grant Ave.

The Complete Food Market

National Beer Garden and Lunch Room

100

Milford St

Mike Novosel, Prop.  –  Liquor, Beer, Wine, Lunch

Nehi Par-T-Pak and R.C. Cola

McKeesport

Victor Brewing Company

Jeanette, Pa

Drink Old Shay Pilsner – Brewed with Mountain Spring Water

Novotny Market

703

Priscilla Ave

Meats and Groceries

Jacob Olson

136

S. Fifth St.

Staple and Fancy Groceries – Imported Goods a Specialty

Duquesne Service Station

S.Duquesne Ave at McKee St.

Pennzip Gas and Pennzoil

Oskin’s Service Station

1

Hamilton Ave.

Atlantic Gas – Oil, Lubricants – Accessories – Tires, Tubes, Batteries

Leo Panko

16

Milford St

Best Beer in Town

Paule’s Lookout

Skyline Drive

Dine and Dance – Mon Valley Skyline Drive – New Dukane & Dravosburg Road – See McKeesport from the Sky

W.A. (Jaggers) Peckman Confectionery

49

N. Duquesne Ave

Palchak’s Drug Store

Commonwealth and Duquesne Blvd.

Your Neighborhood Druggist

Penn Clothing Company

Seconds and Grant

Clothing for the Entire Family – Men’s and Women’s Clothing on Easy Credit Terms – The Store of Easy Credit

Perla Café

507

Priscilla Ave

Best Beer in Town – Kooler Keg System

Charles Petraitis – Wholesale Distributor

611

W. Grant Ave.

Just call for your favorite Beer – We have it!

Pirl’s Filling Station

Kennedy and Aurilles Sts.

For Year Round Happy Motoring – Buy at your ESSO sign

Andrew Pirhalla Confectionery

135

S.First St.

Polatas Restaurant & Bar

408

S. Second St.

Prince Humbert Club

939

S.Duquesne Ave.

Call Jas. Ardiana

Prudential Insurance Co.

Richard Wilkins – 8 Commonwealth, Karl Budinger – 121 Peter Street, Jacob L. Bach – 1110 W. Grant Ave, Thomas J. Snyder – 318 S. Fourth Street, Andrew J Gontkon – 16 Seward Street, John M Spada – 1504 Highland Avenue, Wade S, Mentzer – 4 Thomas Street, Ella Majerchik – 1109 Maryland Avenue

Charles F. Raible

220

W. Grant Ave.

Plumbing & Heating

Frank F. Revak – Funeral Director

44

Milford St

Rosenzweig & Gross Furniture

48-50

N. First Street

Furniture to meet all needs – Complete Home Outfitters – Credit Terms to Meet Your Pocketbook

Rosenzweig & Gross Furniture

59-61

N. Duquesne Ave

Furniture to meet all needs – Complete Home Outfitters – Credit Terms to Meet Your Pocketbook

Roger’s Restaurant

58

Linden Ave

Rusky Store

327

S. Second St.

Groceries & Meats  –  Home Made Bacon, Kolbassie

Royal Mfg. Co. of Duquesne

Manufacturers of Staple and Non-secret drug packages, Specialties, Proprietary Remedies, and Private Brands   –   Successors of Saxon Laboratories   –   Factories in Duquesne, Pa., Brooklyn, N.Y., Chicago, Ill., Kansas City, Mo.

Harry J Saltzer Funeral Home

12

South Fourth St.

“Complete Auto Service”  (an obvious typo in the ad, but I thought it was a hoot!)

Sanderson Market

525

W. Grant Ave.

A.A. Schanz

1314

Crawford Street

Groceries – Meats and Confectionery

Dr. Max Schmidt – Optometrist

35

N. First Street

Serbian Progressive Club
Serfozo Restaurant

1212

Crawford Street

Beer – Liquor – Wine

Shrager’s Quality Market

301

S. First Street

Shaughnessy Funeral Home

9

N. Duquesne Ave

M.J.Shaughnessy – Funeral Director

Silberman’s Café and Restaurant

Evans Ave. – McKeesport

Where the Duquesne Folks Meet

G. Sirianni Restaurant and Café

6

S. Duquesne Ave.

Dine and Dance

Skyline Grill

1313

Kennedy Ave.

Wine – Whiskey – Beer – Lunches   –   Waltman’s

Soboslay Restaurant and Café

853

S. Duquesne Ave.

Soffer Motor Sales

104

S. Duquesne Ave.

“If you want a recommendation for Studebaker, ask the police” – New and Used Cars – Towing – Harry Soffer, Mgr.

Soffer’s Market

418

Crawford Avenue

Vegetables, Produce, Meats and Groceries – Joseph Soffer, Prop.

Expert Shoe Repairing

514

W. Grant Ave.

Mike Soltesz, Prop.

Standard Market

36

Milford St

Quality Meats and Groceries

Paul Stofesky Café

329

S. Second St.

Staisey’s City Hotel

We Cater to Parties and Banquets. “When Better Drinks Are Made, Staisey Has Them”

Superior Market

42

Superior St.

M. Anastas, Prop.

Stone Hardware

109

W. Grant Ave.

“In Duquesne It’s Stone for Hardware”

Mike Sucevic Restaurant and Café

10

Hamilton Ave.

We Cater To Private Parties

Stoney’s

Drink Stoney’s – Americas Best Beer  –  Na-zdrowje – Made with Mountain Spring Water – Jones Brewing Company – Smithton, Pa

Suzich Restaurant and Café

Superior and River

Tanous Arcade Bowling Alley

22

S. Duquesne Ave.

6 Regulation Alleys – 3 Pool Tables

 

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66 Responses to A Trip Down the Streets of Duquesne

  1. Fred Delp says:

    Don Madak, If you graduated from D.H.S. in 1960, you probably knew Bill Kusleika – graduated same year. I am from West Virginia and married his younger sister, Susan (D.H.S 1964). The Kusleikas lived on Lincoln Avenue, Used to go to the GBU with their father occasionally.

  2. Mary-Stella Markides says:

    Jim,

    I have enjoyed reading this blog, but, I read someone noted that Duquesne had a Greek Orthodox Church on Kennedy. Actually, this was a Byzantine Catholic or
    Greek Catholic Church which uses the same rite as the Greek Orthodox Church,
    but, recognizes the pope as the head of their church which the Greek Orthodox
    Church does not. The Greek Orthodox Church was in Mckeesport and then a new church was built in White Oak. Duquesne did have a Russian Orthodox
    Church on Kennedy Avenue and I think their graveyard was in the movie THE
    DEER HUNTER.

  3. You are forgetting Danny’s Cafe at 1313 Kennedy Avenue that was in business since 1960 until the mid 1980s. My parent’s owned that business.

  4. harry bennett III says:

    my grandfather lived in duquesne and i think he owned a pool room/candy store in the ’40’s.his name was harry bennett.know of him. my dad,also harry, graduated from duq. h.s.

  5. Mike says:

    In 1960 I was hitch hiking home from Fort Dix New Jersey, wearing my Army uniform. Two older men picked me up on Rt 30 and said they would take me home, but first they had to stop at a bar on Grant Ave. it was 3 am. Having nothing better to do, I accepted. I remember the bar being on the south side of Grant Ave. I don’t remember which block. I’m not going to give the name of the bar, except it was a family name.
    We walked up to the bar which appeared closed, and one of the men knocked on the door three times. A peephole opened and words were exchanged. The door was opened and we walked into a full blown gambling casino. The pool table was modified for craps and they had a roulette wheel. It was like walking into another world. After that, I was driven to my door in the Riverview project in Duquesne Annex. It’s a nice memory. Mike Bilcsik, class of 59.

  6. Tony Grandi says:

    I grew up in Duquesne from 1929 until 1956 when I got married, graduated from Univ. of Pitt and moved to Maryland and worked on the design of the first color television in N.Y. Living below the tracks in Duquesne in the 40’s was quite an experience since there were young boy gangs below the tracks and they would run up to first street and rob all the stores an run down to the vacant brewery below the tracks and divide the robberies. Then the police would chase them out and they would run a mile up to first and second street.
    What a way to grow up at a young age but it was great times to remember

  7. Tony Grandi says:

    Tony says:
    I grew up in Duquesne in the 1930’s. I went to Holy Name Grade and the Edison Junior High and then graduated from Duquesne High School in1947. Then I went to the Univ. of Pittsburgh. I spent about 6 years working at Kennywood Park and became a general manager of all of the refreshment stands. Graduated from the Univ. Of Pittsburgh and got married and moved to Baltimore and went to work with NASA in Greenbelt Md. I now live north of Baltimore’

  8. Hiyyavrom says:

    I stayed in Duquesne 3 days in Sep 1966 with a family that I later became very close to. I’ll never forget my first night there. I was in bed and just drowsing off when suddenly there was a roar and rumbling. Then the black sky suddenly turned fiery red. It was awesome. I thought, “the Reds have dropped the bomb on Pittsburgh!” Yeah, I got the straight scoop the next AM. The next few days I met some of the finest people I’d ever meet, and experienced a very, very fine town. Fifty years (or so) later and old brain hasn’t yet deleted those memories, or stored them in “the cloud”. This is a terrific blog of a terrific community. Support it!

  9. kim says:

    Does anyone remember Sam and Helen Markides of Sam’s Tailor Shop on Grant Ave?? They were the previous owners before my parents took over in the 1980’s.. Ive been trying to find out what year they opened the business.. but not quite sure what year.

    • charliesimeral says:

      Knew them. My dad had a store on meadow street. I know their son Jim.

    • Jack Schalk says:

      Sam Markides was a wonderful man. He would do the ironing in the front store window and had never known him to miss the opportunity to wave at people as they went by.
      I don’t know what year he started but my earliest rememberance is from approx. 1944 or so.

    • Jim Markides says:

      Sam and Helen Markides were my parents. I don’t know what year the business started, but I would say it was in the 1930’s.

      • Kim says:

        Hi Jim,
        How are you? You may or not remember me but I’m Kim, Lan’s daughter. How is Mary Stella? I haven’t spoke to her in a long time? Also I did some research and I’m pretty sure the shop was opened in 1935.

      • Jim Markides says:

        Mary-Stella is fine. Still in Chillicothe, Ohio. We have been in South Carolina since 1983. I am still working – having too much fun to fully retire from our jewelry store. My dad couldn’t make me a tailor, but I am working with my hands on silver and gold instead of cloth. I am glad you were able to find out more information about when my dad started his shop. When I was a kid I would look at his books back into the thirties and see all the daily entries he kept, adding up all the sales by hand! Stay in touch!

    • Mary-Stella Markides says:

      Kim,

      Hi. This is Mary-Stella Markides. I retired from teaching and I stayed here in Chillicothe, Ohio.

      As I remember, the story of my parents in the 522 West Grant Avenue store, it was the third tailor shop in Duquesne in which Dad had worked. The first was on Grant Avenue near Elsie’s News. Dad and his brother A. D. Markides (everyone called him “Tom”), started this store together. My parents married and Dad soon left the business. He worked at the mill until a man offered him a store either on or near the corner of Grant Avenue and Fifth Street. The man knew Dad did not have rent money, but, he said that he knew Dad would pay him rent as soon as he could. Remember that a man’s word and a handshake were all that honorable men needed then. Dad later bought the store at 522 West Grant because it was larger. He also either added or remodeled the apartment upstairs. I do not know the name of the man who rented Dad his first store without his older brother, but, when Dad sold the store to your parents, he felt that he was “paying foward” the kindness that was done for him. Sam and Helen loved your parents and you children very much and appreciated the kindness and respect with which all of you treated them.

      In these times of distrust of immigrants,
      I think it is important to note the determination and success of two very
      different immigrant families, both of which are examples of what made this
      county great. Duquesne had a rich diversity of people who often did little
      and big things for others that only the
      family members knew. The stories in this blog could have happened in so many other towns in the U.S. Keep the
      stories coming and, perhaps, others will
      read and learn more about our little town.

  10. Donald Dubyak says:

    Does anyone remember my late father? He’s Joe Dubyak from J Dubyak and bros. He was a huckster before ww2. They lived at 421 cedar St. I was only 3 when we moved from 848 state St. to Irwin. That was 1959. I vaguely remember going to helmezzys store. I was very young. Dad passed in 2008. He was 91. The best dad anyone could hope for.

    • Lou A. says:

      Don, sorry I don’t remember you; in 59, I was only eight. Helmeczi’s was my second home; I grew up at 910 Maryland directly behind Steve Farkas’ tavern on the corner of Crawford and Collier Alley. Steve’s daughter gave me their glider from their back porch 30 years ago; reupholstered and repainted, it’s on my back porch right now. Poor Steve is probably rolling in his grave because of the several drug related shootings and a murder in his old watering hole… but those WERE the DAYS.

      • Donald Dubyak says:

        I still come to Duquesne for work. I’m in the insurance business. I work with medicare beneficiaries. I often wonder about my dad Joe Dubyak and his huckster brothers. I have a picture of dad standing next to his J DUBYAK BROS truck. Let me know how I can forward a copy. I’m guessing 1940.

    • John (Jack) Berta says:

      Donald,
      I do remember the Dubyak family name. There are a lot of names I remember from my childhood (’44 to ’62) in Duquesne that have a familiar ring to them. Unfortunately, I can’t recall anything about them. He huckstered before my time. Just out of curiosity if you don’t mind, why did your family move to Irwin?

      • Donald Dubyak says:

        The house on State St. was too small for 6 people. It’s actually North Huntingtdon. It was spacious in 1959. Now it’s like Monroeville. I think dad liked the rural environment. Just a guess. I was only 3 years old.

  11. cheryl wilson says:

    What a great fine. I also grew up on Norman Street, until my dad came back from WWII and then
    we moved to South Seventh. What great memories, walking to the football games and Kennywood
    and of course going “downtown” first street on a Saturday morning.
    It is a sad sad day that the children of today do not have these memories.My Dad will be 99 (9/17/2012} and to this day remembers some of these stores and who owned
    them, we were just talking the other day about lower Grant Avenue. He also can still tell you
    who lived on what street and things that happened in town when he was growing up.
    Thanks again
    Cheryl

    • michael voron says:

      cheryl, ask your Father if he knows of an area called across the tracks at terminus of
      South Grant Street. May have been Mill Street??? Did he know any of the residents?

  12. Bruce Gavlik says:

    Word has it that my late Uncle Ken Matta (from the Mckeesport Matta family) was on R&R during WW2 and stoped into the Green Gables Inn on Duquesne Blvd. one night. There was an all girls band performing and the girl playing Bari-Sax caught his eye. And soon my Aunt Bernice became his wife. A great true story to add to the “Duquesne Hunky”.

  13. Jerry Meskanick says:

    Mike,

    I can’t believe 50 years since high school. I’m starting to feel old.

    Jerry Meskanick

  14. I grew up in Duquesne and have some very fond memories of my life there. I moved away in 1971 around my 21st birthday. I remember getting my hair done for the proms and high school dances at a beauty shop on Grant . I beleive it was called Dolly’s? I remember the library and spending many evenings there doing homework. The librarians name was Miss Gross if I remember correctly. Do they still have the park at the corner of Grant and Second? And the war memorial next to the high school? I haven’t been that way in about 20 years. The house I grew up in was torn down. It was just below Second on Whtfield and a block over from Library Place. The first movie I saw at the theater was “The Invisible Man” with Pa and my older sister and my twin brother. Duquesne was something in its day. Too bad that it changed over the years. I’m sorry that the young people there today will never have those great memories of such a wonderful small town.

  15. Jerry Meskanick says:

    Bob,

    Looks like it makes sense. My brother’s name “Jack” was used by the family, friends knew him as Johnny. My dad’s name is John.

    Have a great day.

    Jerry Meskanick

  16. Jerry Meskanick says:

    Michael,

    I graduated in 1962.

    Jerry Meskanick

    • Bob Chermonitz says:

      Well, Jerry I guess, if you graduated in ’62 and me in ’69, we somehow got our wires crossed. It wasn’t your Dad I knew, it must have been your brother, Jack. That is if you are the Meskanick’s from Overland Ave in Duquesne Place. Anyway, sorry about the mix -up.

    • Michael Bashista says:

      I was pretty sure that was you. It has been many years since I saw you. Hopefully when we have our 50th reunion next year we can all get together.

    • Carl Rumble says:

      Jerry, What school did you graduate from ? I graduated in 62 but don’t remember you. DHS.

      • Jerry Meskanick says:

        Hi Carl Rumble,

        I remember your name. I went to Duquesne High School and graduated in 1962.

        Jerry Meskanick

    • Tom Lane says:

      I remember you jerry. YOu were tall a very thin as I remember. A quiet guy like me. tom lane

      • Ed Flanagan says:

        Tom, we used to play ball at Polish Hill. You were good friends with Hoppy Voytko (sp). Do you remember me? Ed Flanagan. I mostly hung around with Charlie Oeler and Ken Weber.

      • Ed Flanagan says:

        Hoppy Young not Voytko! By the way, my niece lives in Columbus, In. There name is Sasena. Otter Creek is a great Golf Course, have played there a couple times.

      • Tom Lane says:

        Hey Ed, I remember you very well. Wasn’t your nickname “flukes”? My cousin Bob, “hoppy” young just moved back to the Pittsburgh area this past summer from Florida. I have been here in Columbus for about 30 years. Played Otter Creek a few times also. Where do you live now? What happened to Charlie and Ken? I remember them also. Charlie was my paper boy for years. Do you ever get out here to visit your neice? tom

  17. Jerry Meskanick says:

    Hi Bob Chermonitz,

    In regards to the relationship to Johnny Meskanick, I am John’s eldest son Jerry, I have a sister Sandy and a brother Jack. I do not recognize the Chermonitz name. Where did you live in Duquesne and how did you know my father?

    Have a great day,

    Jerry Meskanick

    • Bob Chermonitz says:

      Hi Jerry, I grew up in Duquesne Place where I met you father. We were not “best buds” but hung around with all the kids in the area. Your father was a year or two older than me. I do remember that he had a basketball hoop on a street light pole and we kids woulds play for hours out on the street by his house. At least until our dad’s called us in after the street lights came on.

  18. Jerry Meskanick says:

    Hi, A fellow gave me a beer bottle today identified as Eagle Brewery, Duquesne, Pa. Do you or any of your contacts know anything about this Company? My family immigrated from Slovakia to Duquesne circa 1890.

    Thanks for your help,

    Jerry Meskanick

    • Bob Chermonitz says:

      No info from me about the Eagle beer, however, I was friends with a Johnny Meskanick who lived on Overland Avenue in Duquesne Place next to Babic’s Grocery. Any relation? This would have been in the 50’s and 60’s.

    • Michael Bashista says:

      Jerry, when did you graduate?? 1962?

  19. Green Gables was a great place, i started doing dishes there at a young age I couldnt wait until i was old enough to actually work as a waitress, unfortunately when i reached that age that was the year they decided to close down. I have very good memories of that place,I can remember certain nationality days they would get jammed pack because they sold lamb. Mary, Art and Rich Longcaric were very well liked by many they were very nice people. I know of one waitress that worked out there that is still living, her name was Rose. This and many many more memories are what I have of the area. i am glad I found this blog because I too enjoy reading what others have to tell about the area. keep up the good work

    • donna says:

      can you tell me what years Green Gables was open?
      remember going there for lamb but can’t remember how old I might have been.

    • Kim Elder says:

      I am Norma Dain’s daughter, She was a waitress at Green Gables. I grew up in the back with Pete Longcaric telling me stories of Croatia. We were all Croatian. My grandfather was, Wally Mitchell. He owned a bar on Hamilton Avenue. I loved getting Lamb from Green Gables on Croatian and Serbian day. I dated Marty Soltis through high school and worked at Kennywood. Such fond memories of Dusquene.

      • Jim says:

        Kim, by any chance, do you remember my Uncle Joe (Puskaric)? He stayed at Green Gables for as long as I remembered. Any recollections?

      • I too worked at Green gables I did dishes and my brother stacked empty beer bottles that they threw down the chute. Ms Rose use to work there when I was there cant think of any other names off the top of my head,. I also knew Wally Mitchell I lived across the street about 5 doors up from the bar, on the 3rd stree side up from the Basics store
        Terri and I grew up together.

      • Vickie brady says:

        Kim, I knew of Wally Mitchell his bar was on the corner of Hamilton and North 3rd St I was friends with his daughter Teri. I. Think I remember Norma although it’s been many years

  20. Bob Chermonitz says:

    I’m on a roll! Sorry. Green Gables sat at the Kennywood end of the Kennywood bridge right where McDonald’s is today. It was a huge building, 2 stories tall as I recall. The doors were always wide open in the summer (those the days before everything was airconditioned) and we kids always peeked in. It is true that many a picnic at Kennywood was probably ruined because the men would sneak away from the picnic pavilons to seek refreshment at Green Gables. It was, to a kid, kinda frightening (not sure why). If you walked across the bridge to Kennywood there was an 8ft fence with some very mean dogs that came out of nowhere to scare the daylights out of you. They lived behind the Green Gables. Although, to the men inside, I’m sure it was an oasis.

    • Jim says:

      Bob, my Uncle Joe (Puskaric) worked and lived at the bar. He did all of the maintenance for the Loncaric’s (sp?) They were very good to him. I believe he was responsible for the dogs as well. When ever he visited our home on Thomas Street, he would have another story about how his “puppies” scared the crap of some kid or some “well lit” customer! I think he might have been the cause of some therapist sessions for some people in later life! LOL

  21. Bob Chermonitz says:

    Palchak’s Drug store sat on Duquesne Blvd at the corner of Commonwealth Ave. across from Balough’s Mobil gas station. Today it IS a gas station. Mr. Palchak was like the neighborhood doctor. People would drag their kids there for him to “take a look at”. He was one of the most respected citizens of Duquesne, and lived on Richford St. He also let people buy on the “tick”, credit by today’s verbage. Mom would send me to get a 6 pack of Pepsi, a pack of cigaettes, a half-gallon of milk, and the Daily News (on my Huffy bike) and tell Mr. Palchak to put it on the “tick”. Come payday you stood in line behind everyone else to pay your “tick”. Interestingly enough, before my time, Palchak also had a bar on this site. My grandfather, Doc Green, would tend bar there and men would come in for a drink and to have him tie their bowtie for them, as he had a reputation for being the best bowtie tier (sp?) in town! 🙂

  22. Bob Chermonitz says:

    Jim, you’ve done it again. Things I almost forgot! Duquesne Place had two stores plus Palchek’s drug store (as I recall). Babics was on the bend of Overland Ave, in a building which had apartments above it. Mrs. McConnel (sp?) the head cook at Holy Name lived above it with her husband and son, Larry. This little grocery/butcher served our neighborhood for years. My mom would send me there on errands and allow me to keep all the pennies I received in change. I got in trouble one time when I asked for ten cents in pennies, and they gave it to me! Lesson learned. The other little store was on Overland Ave, also, and was called “Mary’s”, run by Mary Baliban who was Mike Balaban’s (of our class @ HNS) aunt. She sold penny candy, mission pop, and little things like milk and detergents. Oh, the Babics had two sons that I know of, both older than me. The younger was named Walter. At one time he had a Cobra sportscar and would race all over Duquesne Place with it. How cool was that? He hung out with my cousin, Tommy Karch.

  23. Paula Smith says:

    I remember so many of these places. Wasn’t there a movie theater near Karen’s Shoe Store? And does anyone remember that x-ray machine they used to size your feet? I was constantly putting my feet in that thing. Was that a real x-ray machine? And there was a Salkovitz (sp?) Dress Shop that my mother used to visit now and then. What a place – jammed packed with dresses.

    • Jim says:

      Paula, next to Karen’s Shoe Store was the Plaza Theater. I remember the Shoe-fitting fluoroscope that they had and the big model of Buster Brown and his dog. This dog was an American Pit Bull Terrier named Tige. Did you also know that Buster Brown had a little sister named “Mary Jane?” I think one or the other of them had a child in later life named Imelda Marco! (Just kidding!)

  24. Darlene Sadlo says:

    Hello Jim, congratulations on your project which I found very interesting to read. My cousins and I grew up around there…in the 40’s and 50’s. We are now looking back at our ancestry, of the John Thomas and Barbara Sakos Thomas family going back to 1906. We’ve found them listed in the Census reports and ship’s manifests etc. We are now trying to find out what happened to our grandparents’ siblings. How would you go about finding families who lived in Duquesne during certain years? Are directories kept anywhere?
    Thanks for any help,
    Darlene Sadlo

    • Jim says:

      Darlene,
      I think your best place to start is the Mifflin Town SHip Historical Society. Jim Hartman is a wealth of knowledge and should be able to direct you to the proper resources. Another good resourse is Ancestry.com, but it is fee based. Good luck in your search.
      Jim

  25. Jack schalk says:

    I won’t add any new ones at this point but I have a few comments on those listed.

    The GBU was managed by Vince Keiffer for a number of years. He was the body man for my dad till our business closed. What a great guy!

    Duquesne Auto Service moved nearer to Kennywood and sold pontiacs. The owners name was George Schrift and he had a Chris Craft boat on Conneaut Lake. My family was invited to their home and cottage. I enjoyed the Christmas dinner at their house as I was able to be the engineer on a two train layout under the tree.

    I met my future wife while working at Izydores. She was a daughter of a customer and I was stock guy and deivery person but it would take some years for our paths to cross again.

    Raible Plumbing was owned by Charlie Raible and he had the most beautiful red 35 Ford pickup I ever saw. I always wanted to buy that truck but he passed away before I was able to do it.

    Does anyone know if Ikach’s Market was related to a hotel of the same name? I went thru DHS with George Ikach who was a great guy and comedian but I heard he had an untimely end.

  26. Don Madak says:

    Great memories ! I grew up on 5th street and my Mom bought groceries at Soffer’s on Crawford Ave. Every purchase was put on a tab, and you paid the bill at the end of the month.My aunt Mary worked at Royal Mfg. I moved to Skyline Dr. in West Mifflin when I was in the 7th grade, ( About 4 blocks from Paule’s Lookout, going toward Duq.) One of the many jobs I had growing up included Butler’s Drug Store ( across from St. Joseph’s ) while in H.S. ( DHS class of 1960 ) A small world – David Butler, the surviving son, is my attorney here in Marietta, Ga !

    • Jack Schalk says:

      Do you know anything about a Jim Butler who was also a son of the owner?
      He and I went to school at St. Josephs.

      • Ken Denne says:

        Jack,
        Jim relocated to Calif. not sure if he’s living

      • Jack Schalk says:

        Thanks for the update on Jimmy Butler, Ken.
        He and I hung out for a while. I can remember a pony they bought for a prize give away at the drugstore. It lived in their garage till the drawing. That thing was a biting fool. I never put an entry into that drawing. Someone won a very dubious prize.

  27. I can remember a mom and pop store called Basics and next to them was a plumbing store on the corner of Hamilton ave and North 3rd street when i was growing up there,. and then there was Leskos down by second street and hamilton ave oh yea then there was a bar with apartment buildings above it on the other corner of north 3rd and Hamilton ave. These are also some of the businesses i remember in Duquesne. I see there was a few from Mckeesport and West Mifflin mentioned but i don’t recall seeing Jim’s Hot dog stand on Pennsylvania ave in West Mifflin but of course these businesses maybe didn’t advertise so that is why they may not be on the list

    • Jim says:

      Vickie,
      You’re correct. There are a number that are not on the list. I guess they didn’t have the ad budget! LOL
      Jim

      • Mike says:

        I’m am honored to say that I have stumbled acrossed this awesome blog site! My grandmother and my grandfather are from Duquesne! I graduated from from West Mifflin in 2005 and love everything from the MON-VALLEY!! I have extensive roots all through the river towns and I’m currently going to school for education.. My goal is to enrich student knowledge about the valley’s past.

        My grandparents names are Delores Dubois and my (late) grandfather was a standout basketball player named Louis Dubois. My grandfather used to take me down by the clock, Galleghers and shoot the breeze with his old friends. Joe Nesbola and some guy named “Shorty Nabinsky”. Don’t know if those spellings are correct…

        If anyone has information about my family or anything that I talked about please contact my email.

        Thanks! Sincerely

        Mike B.

      • Jim says:

        Mike,
        I’m thrilled you found my blog! Welcome home!

      • Mike says:

        Thanks appreciate the warm welcome! Proud to be a HUNKY and have Duquesne roots!

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