Steve was a larger-than-life figure. Many came in as much for the food and drink as to see Steve who survived not one, but two airplane crashes. On February 5, 1952, Steve was on a National Airlines flight that had just taken off from Newark Airport headed for Miami where he was going to spend the week fishing. The plane crashed in Elizabeth killing 30. Although injured, Steve survived. He carried his friend, Charles Griffin, to safety and returned into the tangled remains of the airliner to help others. It took an explosion and severe head injury to stop him. Ironically, a few years later, Steve was in a prop plane headed to Cuba where he was to go fishing with Ernest Hemingway, and that plane went down. He survived yet again.
Hemingway wasn’t the only icon Steve fished with.
Babe Ruth was a fishing buddy. Another Yankee he considered a friend was Billy Martin who visited the restaurant whenever his team was playing in the Bronx.
The Meadowlands Sports Complex was built in the Seventies in the shadows of Steve’s that is a favorite of many sports legends. Phil Simms, Leonard Marshall, George Martin, Lawrence Taylor, and Ottis Anderson have been frequent customers.
It’s not just athletes who have been attracted to Steve’s great food and comfortable atmosphere. Celebrities, too. Elvis Presley visited with a fake beard. Yvonne Adair of the original Broadway cast, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” used to frequent the restaurant with her millionaire boyfriend.
STEVE’S IS A FAVORITE OF MANY SPORTS LEGENDS
STEVE’S TREASURE TROVE OF MEMORABILIA ENTICES
ARTICLES AND ARTIFACTS ADORN THE WALLS
Marie took over for her dad
Marie took over for her dad when he went on his fishing and hunting expeditions. When she turned 21, Steve let her fill in for him as a bartender for the first time. Marie was a pioneer, as she was the first women to bartend in all of Bergen County. A girlfriend introduced her to a local drummer, Joe Damiani, and the two hit it off. When she was 27, they married. Not only did Joe marry into the family but he also “joined” the family by becoming a bartender, one of the best around. In 1987, Joe was inducted into the “Bartender Hall of Fame,” sponsored by Bartender Magazine.
THIRD GENERATION AT THE HELM
Blaze treasures his legacy, and the updates he has made combined with his attention to detail proves it. “One of my earliest childhood memories is my grandmother in the kitchen at Steve’s, my father behind the bar, my mom waitressing, and my grandfather running the whole show,” he says. He remembers being around five years old and sleeping on a pillow on top of a beer box in a back closet. “I grew up here.”
THIRD GENERATION – BLAZE
It’s no wonder Steve’s gives the feeling that you are dining with family. Not only is it family-owned but it is family-run. Many members of the team are third-generation Steve’s employees.