Township of Ocean Historical Museum
An Open Door To History
Copyright 2017 (C) Township of Ocean Historical Museum 
Township of Ocean Historical Museum
Address: 703 Deal Road, Ocean, NJ 07712
Mailing: P.O. Box 516, Oakhurst, NJ 07755-0516 


(732) 531-2136
​E-mail us at [email protected]
Hometown Histories - Bess Peterson (September 2016)
Funding for Hometown Histories was provided by the New Jersey Cultural Trust.
Asbury Park and the Peterson restaurants

Ninety-one-year-old Bess Peterson was born and raised on the west side of Asbury Park. She describes the diversity of the neighborhood, “We walked to the school in a gathering wave of children from Greek, Jewish, African-American, and Catholic families. Greek was my first language. I didn’t learn to speak English until I started school and it took just a few weeks.”

At 19, she married Frank Peterson and helped build the family business. Restaurants started by the Peterson brothers were in Red Bank, Asbury Park, Shrewsbury, Colts Neck, Brick, and Lakewood. Bess creates a vivid picture of the life of a 20th century restaurateur. And whether or not you remember the Peterson eateries, you’ll find her walk down memory lane a charming stroll.