I must confess that I knew absolutely nothing about the Alcazar Tavern and its place in Newark’s Jazz history. If not for the book Swing City: Newark Nightlife 1925-1950 by Barbara J. Kukla I would still not know anything.
In Chapter 17 of her book she talks about the bar’s owner Iva “Pop” Durham and how, under his ownership, it became a favorite gathering place for musicians and entertainers who would drop by to do a number or see their friends. From such things legends are born and survive long after the places that gave rise to them are no more.
The stories Barbara tells in her book are worth knowing and I would urge anyone interested in Newark’s time as a musical and entertainment hotspot to get her book.