Enza and John Lombardo. Source: By permission of author from Legendary Locals of Kent County by Patricia Joan O. Horsey (Arcadia Publishing, 2015).

Name the crooning couple who served Italian delights in Chestertown from the 1950s to the 1980s?

A. Sal Evola and MAB Finch

B. Buzzy and Betty Harris

C. John and Enza Lombardo

D. None of the Above

This Week’s Answer is C. John and Enza Lombardo.

For thirty-two lyrical years John and “Mama Enza” Lombardo kept their customers content with delicious Italian fare and romantic music at Lombardo’s Sub Shop, 844 High Street, Chestertown, now the site of O’Connor’s Pub. Their residence was directly behind the Sub Shop.

Lombardo’s Sub Shop sign. Like the Baltimore Business Forms in the background, one from Uptown but not forgotten. Source: Facebook, “You know you are from Chestertown When” page.

Toes tapped and girls’ in stylish “New Look” skirts swirled at the popular dance nights in the 1950s.  Cynthia Saunders remembers the “black and white photographs of crew-cut guys in their short-sleeved plaid shirts and bobby- soxed girls”  that adorned the walls.  Native Chestertown residents Cindy and Rick Newsome recalled their “best memories of it were the red booth seats and the music machines that you put coins in and chose your own music…..the subs were good there…..it was always a treat.”

John Lombardo’s voice was beautiful and, while accompanying himself with his guitar,  he charmed his customers in his melodic crooning style of Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, the heart-throb icons of the day.

Prudence Lombardo, fondly known as “Mama Enza,” “loved to cook.”  Her passion led her to satisfying “thousands of customers, friends and family who kept coming back year after year for her delicious Italian dishes and cookies.”

Even their meeting and marriage were romantic.  Enza was born in 1923 in Montalbano Elicona, Sicily, Italy. She was teaching school in Sicily when she met John, a U. S. veteran of World War II, who had seen significant military action in “The Battle of the Bulge” and “Remagen Bridge.”

They married, and returned to his hometown in New Jersey where they raised four children.

Lombardo's storefront.

The Lombardo’s store front. Source: Facebook, “You know you are from Chestertown When” page.

On moving to Chestertown, they created the delightful long-lived Lombardo’s Sub Shop. John Lombardo loved to write songs, play his guitar, to garden and play baseball.  He belonged to the American Legion, Knights of Columbus and the Bing Crosby Historical Society.  A lover of people, Lombardo always had time for a visit and a “kind word.”

When asked if Lombardo’s had a specialty, Cynthia Saunders immediately replied, “Yes, lunch meat subs with OIL!  At this time, 1964, this was considered exotic…”

To John and Mama Enza:  Thanks for the Memories.

The Kent County History Quiz is a weekly local brainteaser sponsored by The Peoples Bank. Kent County historian and author Joan Horsey and columnist Kate Meehan contribute to the quiz’s development. Our goal is to create an opportunity for local learning and discussion. If you have a quiz idea, send it to steve@kentpilot.org.