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.