Home Essex CountyBloomfield Sold: See the Final Price for Tony Soprano’s Famed Holsten’s Booth

Sold: See the Final Price for Tony Soprano’s Famed Holsten’s Booth

by Stephanie Spear
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Essex County will soon be short one of its iconic landmarks. The famous booth where the fictional character Tony Soprano, of North Caldwell, had his final meal, has been sold. The booth was located at Holsten’s Ice Cream, Chocolate + Restaurant, 1063 Broad Street in Bloomfield, a classic Jersey spot that has been in business since 1939. It gained international renown as the site where the final scenes of the popular series The Sopranos were filmed. Read on for more about this local landmark and the auction.

About Holsten’s

Holsten’s Ice Cream, Chocolate + Restaurant has been in business since 1939 and it is so much more than ice cream, milkshakes, egg creams, and sundaes. It also serves up burgers, sandwiches, and omelets. Patrons can even bring home a box of homemade chocolate such as orange cream and hazelnut truffle. All of the chocolates and candies are also homemade — and the team sells gift boxes of these goodies, which make for a thoughtful + delicious present for the holidays.

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The Ivy at Chatham

The shop opened as Strubbe’s Ice Cream Parlor and became Martin + Holsten’s before officially becoming established as Holsten’s. Ronald Stark and Christopher Carley have owned and operated the restaurant since 1999, but they have been part of it since they were teenagers — working at the restaurant and waiting on customers.

Read More: Applegate Farm: Serving Sweet Scoops of Ice Cream in Montclair Since 1848

Though so much has changed in the world since Holsten’s first opened, the owners are dedicated to maintaining Holsten’s culture and have worked hard to ensure it keeps its old-fashioned look and traditions. In our age of technology and constant connection, there’s something really special about dining somewhere that is so steeped in nostalgia.

 

 

The Auction

Fans of the show The Sopranos will recall that in the series finale, Tony meets up with his family at Holsten’s for dinner. The episode fades to black in one of the most controversial series endings of all time, leaving viewers wondering if Tony died, if it was a dream, or if something else happened to the complicated mafioso. Holsten’s became an essential part of any Sopranos fan’s visit to North Jersey. Holsten’s is also a stop on a Sopranos Site Tour — which also includes visits to St. Cecilia Roman Catholic Church and Skyway Diner, both in Kearny. Holsten’s also appeared in the prequel, The Many Saints of Newark with Michael Gandolfini, who shot scenes outside and at the counter.

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The booth. The booth itself has been a destination since the episode aired in June 2007, with diners and fans waiting in line just to sit where Tony, Meadow, Carmella, and AJ did. The famous Sopranos table has a “Reserved” sign, a tribute to the late actor James Gandolfini who shot the final scene of the series in that booth. The Sopranos episode made Holsten’s a destination for fans of the series, who also regularly order onion rings to recreate Tony’s last meal. Though some restaurants might not love the enthusiasts who frequently visit, Holsten’s welcomes the fans. The wait staff cheerfully points out the table for anyone wanting to get a look. The restaurant even sells special Sopranos merchandise. Pro tip: it’s the middle row, third booth — and yes, it’s available for diners to eat there.

The restaurant announced via its Instagram that the booth is for sale via Ebay, due to renovations in the space.

“The time has come. All good things sometimes need an upgrade. The famous Sopranos booth is getting a much needed face-lift. We are auctioning off the well endeared booth on eBay starting today. Place your bid on this once in a lifetime chance to personally own “the booth”. Check out our listing here. Obviously, we aren’t going to change the nostalgia of our beloved shoppe…. we aren’t crazy! Just polishing up the place!

A note from the owners: Please understand that we don’t want to do this. But the integrity of the booths are now compromised. They have been repaired many times and this furniture is over 60 years old. Obviously, we do not want to do this, however it has come to a point where they are structurally not safe anymore as a whole and we need to think about the safety of our patrons first. Customer safety is a priority for us and should be for our patrons as well.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Holsten’s (@holstensicecream)

The booth was available on eBay for local pickup only. The auction ended on Monday, March 4th at 10PM. On Friday March 1st, over 115 bids have been made, with the price at $30,600. Commenters on social media criticized the decision, saying that removing the booth would ruin the experience of visiting Holsten’s, and that it was a piece of history that should be preserved.

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The Montclair Girl received the following statement from the Holsten’s team: “General repairs are no longer enough and we want to address it before a real issue arises. Because of the structure, we have no choice but to replace all the booths. This will also keep a uniform look in the dining room. However, you can rest assured that the look and color scheme will be strikingly similar to what we have today. Most people won’t even notice the change. It is a similar situation as to when we redid the flooring a few months ago… barely anyone noticed!”

The booth was sold on Monday, March 4th for $82,600.00. No word yet on what the buyer plans to do with it, but MG will update this piece if we find out. 

Be sure to follow @themontclairgirl on Instagram and TikTok for further updates, and sign up for our weekly newsletter here.

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