Capitol Tavern

Known Name(s)

Capitol Tavern


1212 Springwood Ave. Asbury Park, NJ

Establishment Type(s)


Physical Status



The Capitol Tavern in Asbury Park was a popular bar strategically located on the West Side’s Springwood Avenue, on the corner of tiny Avenue A. The 1930 Sanborn insurance map indicated that the Capitol was a long, rectangular cinderblock building. The lot at 1212 is now empty.

Source: Sanborn Map Co., Insurance Maps of New Jersey Coast, New Jersey, Vol. 2 (1930), sheet 201.

Detailed History

The Capitol Tavern advertised in The Green Book from 1938 through 1956, the venue distinguished through large, bold, capital letters and/or a star from 1951 through 1956. The tavern joined other businesses on and around Springwood Avenue in a prominent 1940 advertisement in The Asbury Park Press that urged locals, and African Americans in particular, to patronize their “approved” West Side establishments, rather than be “fooled by downtown propaganda” into traveling east of the railroad tracks to spend their money.

By the late 1960s, the bar, like some other long-time institutions on the West Side, had become “trouble spots” as the fortunes of Asbury Park changed, the establishment eliciting a high volume of calls to the police. Destruction during the unrest of July 1970 shut down the Capitol.

Sources: “5 Springwood Bars Shut Since July,” Asbury Park Press, 8 November 1970; “City Plans Suits Against 4 Bars,” Asbury Park Press, 15 May 1968; “Shop in Springwood Ave. Stores with Confidence. You are Guaranteed: QUALITY MERCHANDISE – LOW PRICES – FAIR DEALING,” Asbury Park Press, 31 May 1940.


J. Shaffer

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