The Long Tail of Greasy Tony’s

Greasy Tony's, NJ

Greasy Tony’s in NJ once upon a time

What is it about a short, simple post about a New Jersey food joint that went out of business that keeps it appearing in the top 10 posts read here?

Back in 2008,  I posted a story called Greasy Tony’s Reborn in the Desert.  Tony’s was I place I frequented in the early 1970s as an undergrad at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

It had good, fast, greasy food. Nothing extraordinary. It vanished in 1992, a victim of the university’s expansion. The students who made it popular caused its demise.

Whatever following Greasy Tony’s place might have had, it doesn’t explain why the post has “legs” (or a “long tail” as it is known online).

Is it the title of the post – reborn in the desert? Was it the mention of James Gandolfini (a Rutgers grad) eating a cheesesteak in the resurrected eatery in the Arizona desert?

Mr. Greasy Tony, Tony Giorgianni, died in 2008, so that is not topical news.

If you found that post, or this one, how about a comment here about why you came here. It puzzles me.

Update: 2022

A sharp-eyed reader let me know that they spotted a Greasy Tony’s t-shirt in the movie Revenge of the Nerds being worn by Booger. I guess someone connected to the film knew of the place. Perhaps this explains why some people search online and find these posts.


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.