Biggie’s Clam Bar was founded in 1946 by Joseph Yaccarino. One of twelve children, he was just an infant when his parents brought him to the United States from Naples, Italy, in 1900. In the 1930s he performed as a comedian under the stage name “Biggie”. By 1941, he decided to place his fate with clams.
Hoboken was a blue collared waterfront town at the time, populated with hundreds of taverns, to which “Joe Biggie” went corner to corner shucking raw clams from pails to eager patrons. Eventually he operated a pushcart, selling clams on the half shell for a nickel a piece. Joseph Biggie recruited his son Michael “Brother” into the business and in 1946, father and son opened Biggie’s Clam Bar on Madison Street. Biggie’s is still housed in the original red brick building and has since become a Hoboken institution, right along with Frank Sinatra and baseball. Biggie’s is best known for its family atmosphere and, second to none, raw clams on a half shell. In 1996, Biggie’s was handed to the 3rd generation of family members and underwent an expansion to its current size. Through the dynamic changes Hoboken has undergone in the last 65 years, Biggie’s has stood for tradition, quality, consistency and stability.