1975 Video of the Hopewell Inn Bar

This amazing video from around 1975 shows patrons at the bar of the Hopewell Inn, 15 East Broad Street at Seminary Avenue in Hopewell, N. J. The video is short, under five minutes long, and has been enhanced and brightened for better visibility in the dark bar.

So how do we know that this is the Hopewell Inn? There are no outside shots of the building, no signage, and no Hopewell-related material inside the bar.

Albert Rathousky

But we can recognize two key people – Albert and Rose Mar Rathousky, who owned the Inn from 1970 to 1977. (Albert is the bartender, and Rose is the only woman.)

And a couple patrons also have been identified – Joe McAlinden is sitting at the bar, and is later shown reflected in the mirror (with white hair and mustache), and Clarence Laird is shown in a white shirt and dark jacket.

Various locals also do recognize the bar itself. At the time, the bar room was on the right (Hopewell Public Library) side of the first floor of the building. The bar was along the left wall in the room, and the shuffleboard and darts that are shown near the end were along the right wall with the windows.

The Bar Video

Rose Mar Rathousky

This bar video was provided by Furman Hendrickson, who identified it as “The Jersey Gin Mill” clip that was included in “Jean Shepherd on Route 1… and Other Major Thoroughfares,” a NJN / PBS special from 1984. In that piece, “Shep addresses the viewer directly from the back seat of a limousine traveling along the modern version of the first highway in America. He muses on what he observes through the windows.” (Shepherd also was the co-writer and voice-over narrator of “A Christmas Story” in 1983.)

There is a copy of the “Route 1” piece on YouTube, but unfortunately it is missing both the opening and the ending, and so has no titles or credits. Play this clip within the longer piece (42 minutes).

So at this point the original source of the Hopewell Inn clip is unclear, since it was shot around a decade before the broadcast that included it. The Shepherd piece jumps in to the video to illustrate Shepherd’s musings. It does not identify the scene, in the narration or with external shots of the building. (Note that the TV in the bar shows the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite that was broadcast from 1962 to 1981, further confirming that this piece was shot before the “Route 1” production.)

See also:

We welcome any further help with identifying the people shown in the video, understanding the layout and materials shown in the bar, and especially in discovering the original source of this video clip.

More on the Hopewell Inn – 15 East Broad

The Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn building at 15 East Broad Street on the corner of Seminary Avenue was demolished in July 2022. Long known as the Central Hotel, the building had a nearly 150 year history as a residential home and store, bar and restaurant, and lodging and apartments.

Hopewell Inn History


Hopewell Inn Information

Hopewell Inn Tours – 2022

Hopewell Inn Memorabilia

Hopewell Inn Media

Hopewell Inn Construction – 2023

Hopewell Inn Demolition – July 2022

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