I had seen a number of post cards that depicted the dining room of the Café De Jianne. Visually,they were not of particular interest . I  always wondered what the outside of the building had looked like.Therefore, when I saw this view of the exterior of the restaurant I got very excited. Not only that, I now had the opportunity to view close-up, the buildings adjacent to the Café. Surprisingly, the northern side of lower Central Avenue between Halsey Street and Broad Street was still predominantly residential . Except for the Café De Jianne  the buildings had not yet had their ground floors repurposed for commercial use.

Indeed as fine as the Café De Jianne may have been, it was the streetscape that appealed to me most. In this post card we see actual brownstones, one of them being quite ornate.We also see  a rather large three story brick residence and the brick townhouse that housed the café. I mention the brownstones and the more common Newark brick front houses separately because, strictly speaking, a brownstone is a building with a façade made from the brown sedimentary rock known as brownstone. The ubiquitous brick rows in Newark, no matter how ornate, are not brownstones. Lately , however, it has become the fashion to call all row houses from a certain period “Brownstones”. Myself,I call them row houses or townhouses. The tall brick wall at the left edge of the card is the side of the Hotel Lenox.

It is also interesting to note the early automobile in front of the Café De Jianne. Perhaps the car was placed there intentionally as if to say that like the automobile the cafe De Jianne was the latest thing .If you missed that connection, James De Jianne, opined on the front of the post card that his restaurant was “The Leading Restaurant In The State”.

Currently, the site of these buildings is occupied by the North Star Academy building.


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