The history of 1709 Delaware Avenue dates back to 1884. The very first occupant was the Widow Martha Price who took in borders until 1890 when she moved to 1021 Bennett Street. It was right around this time that Mr. John Kelly purchased the DuPont Logan House Hotel located at 1701-1703 Del. Ave. In 1892, Jacob & Lizzie Fink became the new residents at 1709 Del. Ave. Jacob was a helper at the H & F Brewing Company which brewed the celebrated Brandywine Lager Beer & Porter, “…Guaranteed absolutely pure and healthful,” according to its advertising pronouncements. Mr. Fink died shortly after moving in and the newly widowed Lizzie Fink stayed for another year and took in borders until she moved to Church Lane in 1894.
It was in 1906 that 1709 Delaware Ave. was first registered as a business. It became a cigar shop under the proprietorship of Daniel Mahoney. Mr. Mahoney sold the business in 1909 to Edward and Charles Dougherty and it was renamed Dougherty Brothers Cigars. Michael and Bessie McGonegal took over the shop in 1910. Michael and Bessie had apparently built up a pretty impressive clientele base and it is said that Groucho Marx purchased cigars here when traveling through he area.
A barbershop was opened here in 1920 by Mathew J. Haley. Mr. Haley’s barbershop became a gathering place for the prominent businessmen in the area. Part of Mr. Haley’s success was attributed to his reputation as a vault of information. His prestigious clientele trusted him with sensitive information that they wouldn’t trust their wives with. Mathew “The Vault” Haley never violated that trust despite attempts by some to compromise him with large sums of cash to gain an edge against competitors.
The Trolley Square area was referred to as “Forty Acres” and in 1948, Joseph Marro opened The Forty Acres Spaghetti House at this location. Mr. Marro found quick success with his homemade pasta dishes. After receiving feedback from his loyal guests that “Forty Acres” was a real dumb name for his restaurant, he reamed it Marro’s Italian Restaurant in 1949 and never looked back. His long run of success ended in 1963 when the business was sold and became The Stow-A-Way Lounge Tavern.
In 1964 the address became the Champagne Lounge Tavern, and it would thrive at this location for almost a decade. In 1973, the facility underwent extensive renovations and became The Cheesery. The cheese shop provided delicious domestic and imported cheeses until it was sold and became Jillian’s Restaurant in 1985 and the it was known as Peppers Tavern for a very short time.
In 1989, Scratch MaGoo’s Bar and Restaurant was opened by Kim Martin, Scott Martin and John Schulte. Scratch MaGoo’s was the first of five restaurants opened by the threesome. In 2013, Scott Martin became the sole owner of 1709 Delaware Ave. Scratch MaGoo’s is named after the lovable cartoon character, Mr. Magoo, who has an uncanny ability to got through life finding happiness in spite of the obstacles the world may throw his way.
Welcome to 1709 Delaware Avenue… A local resident since 1884.