Greasy Tony’s Reborn In The Desert

Tony's in ArizonaSteve Smith checking in with Tony

Greasy Tony’s was a food joint that used to be on Easton Ave. and Somerset Street in New Brunswick, NJ.

During my mid-70s days at Rutgers College, it was a landmark and frequently frequented.

In 1992, Tony got evicted (“eminent domain”) so the college could put up a new building.  Tony moved out to Tempe, Arizona, and is still greasing up the insides of all comers.

My buddy Steve Smith (who grew up in New Brunswick and attended Rutgers with me) consumed a good number of Tony creations. Guess where Steve spends the months when his Jersey beach town of Seaside Park is a bit too cold for his wife? Uh-huh – he has a place in Arizona.

Tony's AZAfter Rutgers played in the Insight Bowl in 2005 (Arizona State beat them 45-40), some Rutgers fans in the know headed from the stadium past the ASU campus and to Greasy Tony’s.

It looks like a Greasy Tony’s establishment should look.

Depending on when you got there, you might have seen a limo parked on the side of the building. And there in the outside seating area was James Gandolfini (Rutgers grad) eating a cheesesteak.

A cheesesteak and  Tony Soprano out in the desert. Now that is Jersey.

Jersey people are survivors.

Greasy Tony's, NJ

Tony's original menu


NOTE:  I updated this story of Tony and his food joint. 

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A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

15 thoughts on “Greasy Tony’s Reborn In The Desert”

  1. sorry to hear of the passing of tony. I live in michigan now and only wish there was a tonys here. growing up in jersey, this was a favorite late nite spot. after a belly full of beer at the corner tavern across the street, we went to tonys.


  2. There were 2 Greasy Tony’s in Tucson at one time, going back to the late ’70s/early ’80s. When Tony passed the one on Speedway was still open. Miss it so much :-(


  3. Greasy Tony’s was the place. while at the UofA the one on 5th ave was walking distance from South Hall
    was definitely the place to get a good sandwich

    knew several of the workers back in the 80’s at the one on Speedway too

    Thanks Tony


  4. Fridays (well, Saturday Oh Dark) in the 80’s always involved a stop at the Speedway store for a Weightlifter.

    Major loss. Nearly as bad was the “No charge. . .” shirt going walkabout a few years back.


      1. Pete was referring to the Greasy Tony’s at 828 E Speedway in Tucson, which opened ca 1978 and was the first location outside of New Jersey. The weightlifter was a popular sub, in Tucson at least.

        As for the shirt, the character “Booger” from “Revenge of the Nerds” sported an authentic Greasy Tony’s tee shirt in the movie. After Tony passed away and the stores closed down, the shirt was bootlegged and sold online.


  5. Greasey Tony’s opened the first restaurant in my hometown, New Brunswick, NJ in the early 60’s. Two brothers owned it back then, Frankie and Tony (I believe). I remember them introducing New Brunswick to the first cheese steaks (similar to Philly). They were two nice guys, although they didn’t get along with each other, they treated everyone else like family.
    Good memory, I was about 13 yrs old. We were the first African- American family to move into this area of Europeans.


  6. There is a sorta’ well known 80’s punk band from New Brunswick, named TMA. They mention ‘Greasy Tony’s Trash Can Steaks’ on the title track of 1983’s What’s For Dinner LP. Great stuff!


  7. Growing up in N.J. Nothing beat a greasy Tony’s cheesey greasy cheesesteak! R.I.P. Tony! Best cheesesteaks in the city after a night of drinking hands down! I wish i had their recipes!!!


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