WHAT THE SHUCK: For the First Time Since 1946, Hoboken Will Have No Biggie’s Clam Bar
Biggie’s Clam Bar is leaving Hoboken.
Two years after shuttering its Madison Street location and shifting operations to the former Clam Broth House at 36-42 Newark Street, the once-beloved community restaurant will no longer be in Hoboken—thereby ending a run in the Mile Square City that has lasted since 1946.
Biggie’s Clam Bar was established by Joseph “Biggie” Yaccarino, who used to go corner to corner shucking raw clams from pails for dockworkers at Hoboken’s waterfront taverns in the early 1940s. Selling clams on the half shell for a nickel a piece, Joseph’s son Michael “Brother” Yaccarino got into the business and in 1946, they opened Biggie’s Clam Bar on Madison Street.
**Check out Brother Yaccarino’s recollections in “I’d Rather Lose A Clam Than A Customer,” published by the Hoboken Historical Museum**
Serving up delicious fare at phenomenal prices, Biggie’s grew to become a celebrated staple in the community. As Hoboken evolved from predominantly blue collar into the high-priced real estate that it is now, Biggie’s remained a steadfast and deeply revered part of the Hoboken scene—drawing diners from all over, who were treated to the authentic, old school ambiance of the restaurant at 318 Madison.
Yet after decades of success at that location, they made the business decision to consolidate the operation of their world-famous restaurant at their Newark Street location.
The building at 318 Madison was significantly and irreparably damaged during Superstorm Sandy, so the choice was made to move on from the single-story 120 year-old structure and redevelop that property—which was torn down just two weeks ago:
(WARNING: Graphic footage for anyone who has ever lived in Hoboken between 1946 and 2016)
At that time, hMAG reminded readers to keep calm and carry on, as we still had the Newark Street location. Looks like we jinxed it…
“Wanted to let you know that Biggie’s is closing,” said owner Michael Ranuro in an email, simply adding, “we accepted an offer to sell.”
When asked for specifics on what led to the sale, Ranuro declined to comment further. Biggie’s owns and operates two other locations—in Ramsey and Carlstadt. “Our other restaurants are doing well,” says Ranuro.
The former Clam Broth House has seen a number of attempts to fill a big space, ever since the original location—which housed the Clam Broth House, Cadillac Bar and Boo-Boo’s Funkadelic—met the wrecking ball following a structural failure in 2003.
No word yet on what will move into that location.
All we know right now is that we’ll start 2019 with no Biggie’s Clam Bar in Hoboken…