Tony’s Freehold Grill, one brunch with Springsteen

There are still many corners of the world that reflect our dreams and, never as today, our hopes.

In Freehold, New Jersey, a little baby intended to put heavy word on the history of american and international rock music was born almost 64 years ago: Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen

Credit photo Stefano Pecoraro

Entrance, Credit photo by  Stefano Pecoraro

Technically Bruce was born in Long Branch NJ, a small town few miles east, but it’s in Freehold where he spent with the family the first years of his childhood and youth. In 1947, two years before the birth of our prodigy , Mike De Caesare opened the doors of this Diner. Since then, very little has changed its original appearance.

L'insegna, foto di Stefano Pecoraio

sign, photo by Stefano Pecoraio

What characterizes an American Diner ? The Diner restaurants are prefabricated, based on a simple and convivial atmosphere; generally coated inside and outside, of stainless steel panels which determines its classic Art Deco architecture .
Back to our restaurant : as I wrote , almost nothing has changed since 1947 except only once the property, given to the family Iliadis in the person of Tony, a former chef of the restaurant that took it over in 1963.

  Boss... credit foto stefano Pecoraio

Bruce’s footsteps… credit foto stefano Pecoraio

This quaint silver bullet is leased on the east side of Main Street, just few steps outside the small town. It has a convenient parking at the rear and welcomes visitors with the classic double-door entry, already seen in every American cult movie pre 80s.
The restaurant is spread in the transverse direction, with the classic counter equipped with same classic stools upholstered in vinyl leatherette. At the outer edges of the prefabricated there are tables which all overlook the windows. Each table had a small working miniature Jukebox so that the customers could eat their American style breakfast in the company of Elvis rather than Jerry Lee Lewis.


Jukebox, credit stefano Pecoraio

The staff is friendly and helpful, perhaps a bit strict on the menu or on the changes that may be required, even if the amount of choices makes it easy to find what you want. One of the nicest characteristics are the menus back in the time, still hanging with prices and food served back then.

Bruce@Tony's (credi photo Tony's)

Bruce@Tony’s (credi photo Tony’s)

Tony’s Grill serves breakfast and lunch and is normally closed for dinner , alcohol is not served. The specialties prove above to omelets , cooked in the most classic american tastes with choices of cheese, bacon, vegetables and more.

At its counter and at one of its tables sat, in 2009, our Bruce. Besides being a frequent visitor, Bruce chose Tony ‘s Grill as the location for the video of his song “Long Walk Home” , from the album “Magic”.

In various sections of the video, Bruce sings of roots, values ​​and leaning against the bar or the table. Even in the “The Making of Born to Run (Wings for Wheels)” Bruce released the final interview at Tony’s Freehold Grill. At the end , you won’t have any reason to visit Freehold except if you want to follow Bruce’s footsteps. But if you do, make sure to have the opportunity to taste and visit this place, and bring my greetings to chef Fernando, who was also shot in Long Walk Home !

(Credit PHOTO Stefano Pecoraio –


Tony’s Freehold Grill (since 1947)

59 E Main St.Freehold 07728

Open:         lun-ven 6.30 – 14.30

Sab-dom 7,00 -14,30


Phone.          +1 732-431-8607

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Author: stefano Pecoraio

Orgoglioso reggiano, classe 1971, mi divido tra due rami, che descrivono le mie principali passioni e professioni: MUSICA: Autore del libro “Welcome to Asbury Park” (Aliberti Editore 2010) dal 1984 seguo Bruce Springsteen attraverso le sue canzoni e i suoi concerti. Nel 2007 il primo incontro con Springsteen e di seguito l’inizio del lavoro a stretto contatto con la municipalità di Asbury Park, che mi ha portato a ricevere nel 2010 un proclama ufficiale incaricandomi di promuovere iniziative culturali tra la città e l’Italia. La collaborazione e l’amicizia con musicisti, amici e componenti dello staff di Bruce Springsteen ha creato un crescendo di opportunità a disposizione del nostro paese. Ho creato un blog ( che raccoglie tutte le informazioni e l’attività che mano a mano si ramifica tra le due differenti culture musicali. The Asbury Blog collabora attivamente con la Asbury Park Musical Heritage.

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