A model of this story first printed in 2018.
Nothing will get a real Jerseyan’s tears flowing faster than reminiscing a couple of beloved long-gone restaurant. It could have been the place their mother and father took them each week as a child. The place that made the most effective hen parm or crab muffins or egg sandwiches or no matter. The place the waitresses greeted you by title. You continue to have a menu or matchbook or postcard from the place, and also you’re not giving it up for something.
Extra tears flowed not too long ago with the information that the Hearth in Paramus was closing for good after 65 years in enterprise. “Over the previous months, we now have had an more and more tough time masking the prices of operating our restaurant,” learn a message on the restaurant’s Instagram account.
One other one bites the mud . . .
That is an up to date record of 1 that initially appeared in 2018; six eating places have been added to that record.
Our rating of N.J.’s 35 greatest old-school restaurants mined comparable nostalgic territory, however in contrast to that record, the eating places on this record are all closed. Kaput. Demolished. Changed by Ceremony Aids and Wawas.
Should you’re the kind to cry simply over long-lost loves, vehicles — and eating places — you may wish to seize a field of Kleenex earlier than studying any additional.
Charlie’s Pool Room, Alpha
Charlie’s Pool Room was probably the most eccentric eatery in New Jersey.
Squeaky hardwood flooring, a Twenties money register, tin ceiling, fluorescent-lit pool desk, tiny toilet and only one merchandise on the menu: scorching canines. Should you didn’t depend the sweet on the entrance counter. Brothers Joe and John Fencz had been your ever-friendly hosts; John did the cooking, Joe did the speaking. You got here right here for the delightfully dodgy environment, and a canine with Grandma Fencz’ spicy “secret” sauce.
Joe Fencz handed away in 2014; Charlie’s Pool Room had closed down the yr earlier than as a result of the county required kitchen upgrades. It hasn’t offered a scorching canine since.
Buddies Cabin, West Orange
Longtime patrons of Buddies Cabin had been shocked to be taught in 2013 that the legendary restaurant would be torn down for a CVS, however the writing had been on the wall of the wooden-beamed restaurant for a while. Bills had escalated to unmanageable ranges — $20,000 a month for utilities, $200,000 a yr in property taxes.
Buddies certainly was a cabin when it opened in 1932; house owners Marty Horn and Roy Sale offered scorching canines for a dime out of their tiny clapboard-and-tin cabin. It might develop right into a sprawling, chalet-like constructing; the cream of mushroom soup was legendary. Buddies helped launch Liberace’s profession in 1937; the then-18-year-old performer performed right here for six months, incomes $40 every week.
Torelli’s Burgers, Millville
Jim’s Lunch is Millville’s declare to culinary fame, however ask any longtime Holly Metropolis resident what eatery they miss most, and chances are high they’ll reply Torelli’s. Their burgers had been legendary, however you needed to get there early as a result of when Joe Torelli ran out of the 300 burgers he allotted for each day, normally round 11 a.m., he closed up store. The area later turned Billy D’s and Bruni’s Breakfast & Burgers, however neither matched Torelli’s in Millville reminiscences.
De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies, Trenton
Historical money register. No bank cards, no menu. And no loos, both. De Lorenzo’s, in Trenton’s Chambersburg part, served up old-school and nice pizza in equal parts. However in January 2012, De Lo’s closed for good. Tearful clients hugged house owners Eileen and Gary Amico. Regardless of that you can get the identical excellent pizza on the Robbinsville De Lo’s, run by their son. One thing particular had been misplaced.
Olga’s Diner, Marlton
There’s little argument that Olga’s Diner was South Jersey’s best-known diner for many years. In 1946, Olga and Tom Stavros opened a luncheonette known as Mother and Pop’s in Camden; in 1951 they moved throughout the road to an even bigger area, which turned Olga’s Diner. In 1960, the diner opened on the Marlton Circle, the junction of Routes 70 and 73. A waitress would go away a pot of espresso on the counter or your desk — who does that anymore? The diner made a cake for President Bush in 1989. In 2008, although, the diner was shut down four times for not paying payments for taxes, and closed for good in direction of the tip of the yr. The diner was torn down, and was finally changed with a brand new Olga’s close by. However you possibly can by no means upstage the unique.
Greasy Tony’s, New Brunswick
“No cost for further grease” learn the signal. The menu included the Trash Can, which was just about each meat, cheese and topping tossed into one astounding mess of a sandwich. Greasy Tony’s opened within the mid-Nineteen Sixties on the nook of Somerset Avenue and Easton Avenue, and have become the late evening go-to for legions of ravenous and infrequently sober Rutgers college students. There have been Greasy Tony’s areas in Tempe and Tucson, Ariz., however they’ve since closed down, and founder Tony Giorgianni handed away in 2008.
Harry’s Nook, Little Ferry
Harry’s Nook, on Route 46, merely had the best egg sandwiches of all time. That’s what longtime followers stated, anyway.
“Goose egg and chili was my go-to at Harry’s Nook at 2 a.m.,” learn one testimonial on Twitter. “That was my hangover treatment.”
The menu was principally three issues: egg sandwich, sausage sandwich and sausage & egg sandwich.
Capt. Starn’s, Atlantic Metropolis
“Out of the water into the pan” was the slogan at Capt. Starn’s, one of many nation’s most well-known seafood eating places in its heyday. The waterfront complicated included the restaurant, docks, fish market and sea lions in a tank. “Starn’s was one of the city’s last must-see attractions,” in keeping with one account. It closed in 1979.
Previous Barn Milk Bar, Wayne
“The most effective ice cream cone in New Jersey” goes a typical touch upon the Fb web page dedicated to memories of the Old Barn Milk Bar. The constructing dated to 1790; the ice cream stand opened in 1930. Patrons would sit on their cars or break out lawn chairs to take pleasure in their ice cream. However in 2002, crippled by the financial system, it shut down for good. “I simply acquired uninterested in doing it,” the co-owner advised The New York Occasions.
Mr. Bee’s, Raritan Borough
House of the Beeburger! No, they didn’t put bees within the burgers, however bees embellished restaurant buttons, t-shirts and menus, and actual bees (thankfully lifeless) had been arrayed beneath the glass-topped tables. There was a man in a bee outfit waving at motorists spinning across the Somerville Circle. “I used to work at that Mr. Bee’s once I was in highschool again in 1968 throughout the summer season!” someone recalled on Chowhound. “It was my first actual job! Sorry to listen to that it not exists. Who can forgot the swarm of fries or the nectar milk shakes!
Callahan’s, Fort Lee
Callahan’s as soon as stood on the scorching canine crossroads of New Jersey; proper throughout the road was one other Jersey scorching canine landmark, Hiram’s Roadstand. Artie Castrianni opened his scorching canine stand in a fuel station owned by the Callahan sisters in 1950. “So large! So good!” was the slogan. There was a storefront in Norwood, nevertheless it has since closed. Artie’s grandson, Daniel DeMiglio, operates the Callahan’s meals truck.
Zaberer’s, North Wildwood
You may get misplaced inside Zaberer’s — the 4 eating rooms may accommodate 1,000 individuals. There have been 4 lounges, even two playrooms for the children. Ed Zaberer — the Host of the Jersey Coast would quickly turn into his nickname — opened it in 1955.
“It featured lots of of vintage Tiffany lamps, stained glass portraits, work and plenty of, many different neat options, all housed in a singular labyrinth of separate, themed rooms,” an admirer stated on the Doo Wop Preservation League web site.
Zaberer would finally promote the enterprise and retire. Below a brand new proprietor, the property went into foreclosures. It might later be destroyed by a fireplace.
Weequahic Diner, Newark
The Weequahic Diner opened in 1938, an instantaneous hit amongst Newark’s rising Jewish inhabitants and diner followers basically. The waitresses had been principally blonde and wore their hair in an upsweep, an everyday recalled on oldnewark.com, and the diner’s cheesecake and “flaky-crusted cream pies” had been signature objects.
Clayton’s Log Cabin Restaurant, Barnegat
What’s it with New Jersey and log cabin eating places? Dozens dotted the panorama within the 60s and 70s. “I used to stay throughout the hwy as a child and went there steadily with my household, who knew the house owners (they owned our home),” Kate E. reminisced on yelp.com. “Had the most effective bacon wrapped scallops, flounder, turtle soup, corn fritters and omg the potato salad and applesauce they gave you. Their German dishes had been wonderful too. In all probability won’t ever discover something near their meals once more.”
Clayton’s Log Cabin burned down within the Nineties.
Helmer’s, which opened in 1936, was an informal however stylish high-ceilinged hang-out on Washington Avenue identified for its German dishes and wonderful choice of beers, from domestics to the likes of Weihenstephan Weiss and Dortmunder Dab. The steak sandwich — strips of succulent, juicy prime spherical — was a standout; the menu additionally included wiener schnitzel, jager schnitzel, sauerbraten, broiled sea scallops, smoked pork chops and sirloin steak. The restaurant closed for good on New 12 months’s Eve, 2014.
“It’s going to be bizarre trying down tenth and Washington and never seeing a German flag,” one common mourned.
Circus Drive-In, Wall
The Circus Drive-in was the state’s most iconic drive-in restaurant. Distinguished by its magnificent smiling-clown neon signal, the Shore landmark opened in 1954. It was particularly identified for its soft-shell crabs; the restaurant went via about 800 a day in season. These soft-shell crabs made my record of 50 Jersey Foods You Must Try Before You Die. The menu was, naturally, circus-themed, with such dishes because the Bareback Betsy, the Wild Animal Particular and the Daredevil. The property was offered, and the gloriously retro restaurant was demolished in 2018.
The Anthony Wayne, Wayne
After I requested for suggestions of long-gone legendary eating places on Twitter, perhaps no spot evoked the nostalgic pull The Anthony Wayne did.
“I actually, actually miss The Anthony Wayne’s burgers. All the time a deal with to go there,” stated one longtime fan.
“They seared their skinny patties on what fry cooks would name a ‘salamander,’ a brutally scorching grill that completed burgers in minutes, then they slapped them on gummy white hamburger buns,” Thomas Pluck recalled in his Ode to the Vanishing Char-Broiler. “You may get American or cheddar, however the scorching burger relish was what made them memorable to me. They served orange whips and the standard deep-fryer fare, however the burgers with their crisp, carcinogenic broiled crust had been the star.”
Luna Bell, Woodbridge
New Jersey’s strangest-looking diner. That’s how I described the Luna Bell in my e book, “Jersey Diners.” The roof rose and fell like a bell curve. The squat chimney curved gnomishly to the fitting, like one thing out of a fairy story. It was New Jersey’s solely medieval-looking diner; you half anticipated somebody to toss burning oil from the parapet, or see knights on horseback charging throughout Route 1 to rescue the truthful maiden imprisoned within the tower. How did the diner will get its title? “I don’t know,” the proprietor, Manny Mavrorasakis as soon as advised me. ”Is it good?”
Gruning’s, South Orange
Within the Nineteen Forties and 50s, Gruning’s might properly have been North Jersey’s hottest ice cream chain. Invoice Gruning opened the primary one, in South Orange, in 1910; stores would later open in Montclair, Newark, Caldwell, Plainfield and Millburn. The model was offered in 1983.
Schwaebische Alb, Warren
New Jersey has a wealthy historical past of German eating places, however Schwaebische Alb was in a category of its personal. It needed to do with the country-like setting and spacious grounds, the in depth menu, and the full of life Oktoberfest celebrations yearly.
“I all the time had probably the most enjoyable of my life on the Schwaebische Alb,” an everyday fondly recalled on activediner.com.
Don’s Drive-In, Livingston
Point out of Don’s Drive-In brings a nostalgic rush to those that grew up in Essex County within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies. “Nice pizza burgers, onion rings and coconut cream pie,” Gene Kelsey stated on Twitter. “The burgers, the bakery, the sauteed onions and pickle bar,” Mark Davis chimed in.
Don Roth opened Don’s in 1954, when most of Livingston was downright rural, in keeping with one account. Roth would typically greet clients, and was identified for his humorousness. The restaurant was offered within the early Nineties, and Roth handed away in 2009.
Robert E. Lee Inn, Sayreville
Located picturesquely on Cheesequake Creek the place it emptied into Raritan Bay, the Robert E. Lee Inn began in 1926 as Cady’s Home of Sea Meals, “probably the most trendy and greatest positioned eating places on the Jersey Coast,” in keeping with a narrative in a local newspaper.
The Robert E. Lee was named after the property’s unique proprietor, Robert E. Lee Morgan, who purchased it in 1904. An early Seventies menu supplied do-it-yourself lasagne for $5.50, fried shrimp for $6.95, and t-bone steak for $8.75.
The constructing burned down in 1986.
Clam Broth Home, Hoboken
The Clam Broth Home was a well-liked hangout for dockworkers within the early 1900s, however ladies weren’t allowed inside till the Seventies. Marlon Brando stopped by when filming “On the Waterfront.” The ground was affected by seafood shells, and clam broth was given away free on the bar. The restaurant closed in 2003.
Latin On line casino, Cherry Hill
There was nothing significantly Latin in regards to the Latin On line casino, and it wasn’t a on line casino, however for a time this sprawling venue was one of many East Coast’s big-time nightclubs. Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole and plenty of different stars carried out right here.
The restaurant/showroom may match about 2,000 patrons, who dined on surf n turf and entrees from the “Chinese language Kitchen.”
There was no cowl cost till the mid-70s, so the On line casino relied on food and drinks for income. After a short-lived incarnation as the Emerald City disco, the Latin On line casino was demolished in December 1982.
Tippy’s Charcoal Haven, Jersey Metropolis
The brilliantly neon-lit Tippy’s Charcoal Haven, within the Heights, was Marion Macucici’s favourite place rising up. Meaning one thing, particularly when your nickname is The Diner Queen. “When my good Catholic mom came upon that I used to be skipping Sunday Mass for breakfast at Tippy’s, she blew a fuse,” Macucici as soon as recalled. “After that, my little hideaway was known as ‘Saint Tippy’s Charcoal Altar.’ “
Larison’s Turkey Farm Inn, Chester
In 1945, Will Larison purchased what was then the Topping Farm and transformed the home into an inn/restaurant. The furnishings would come with Tiffany lamps and stuffed animals, together with a menacing polar bear on the second ground. The farm closed in 2001, and the restaurant went via totally different names earlier than closing for good in 2009. Larison’s was identified for its epic Thanksgiving Day dinners; on the final one, the restaurant cooked 180 35-pound turkeys, peeled and mashed 1,900 kilos of potatoes and poured 125 gallons of gravy.
Campbell’s Seafood Kitchen, Ocean Metropolis
When Patch requested readers what Ocean Metropolis companies they missed probably the most, Campbell’s Seafood Kitchen topped the record. You may choose up fried shrimp, steamed clams, fried scallops, delicate shell crabs and the favored Baked Crab Imperial, however Campbell’s was simply as well-known for its fried hen.
“I bear in mind my mother and father taking me there as a child within the late 60′s, early 70′s and launched me to the fried clams,” Daniel Musselman stated on a Fb web page dedicated to memories of Campbell’s. “To this present day I’ve by no means tasted any higher clams. It will need to have been the key elements of the batter!”
Chan’s Waikiki, Paramus
New Jersey boasts a colourful historical past of kitsch-crazed Polynesian and Chinese language eating places (Lee’s Hawaiian Islander, Chan’s Dragon Inn, Lun Wah, and so on.). Chan’s Waikiki might have been probably the most outrageous of all. There was a fountain and fish pool, masks on the wall, and beef chow mein, fried rice, chop suey and different dishes on the menu.
“(It was) within the nice custom of excessive Polynesian eating places,” one fan recalled on Twitter. “Flaming Pupu platters, foolish drinks loaded with alcohol and waiters that by no means carded you.”
Claremont Diner, Verona
How good was the cheesecake on the Claremont Diner? It was “probably the most well-known dessert in New Jersey,” according to one account, made with a hearty serving to of cream cheese. The diner was additionally identified for its salad — “candy and bitter and crunchy and addictive and wholesome,” as one former patron put it. Leo and Morris Bauman, house owners of the Weequahic Diner in Newark, would turn into house owners of the Claremont Diner.
Busch’s Seafood Restaurant, Sea Isle Metropolis
At Busch’s, you began with the well-known she-crab soup, then labored your manner down the menu.
One of many Shore’s seafood legends, Busch’s opened in 1882, and the 450-seat restaurant took up a whole metropolis block. Solely three individuals ever made the she-crab soup, and “two of them are lifeless,” proprietor Al Schettig stated in 2014.
“Please come again. Even in restricted take out kind. Holy moly I miss the soup,” a patron begged on the restaurant’s Fb web page in 2014, when the house owners introduced plans to reduce the operation, with takeout solely, plus a bar and packaged items retailer.
Busch’s was offered later that yr.
The Brief Cease, Bloomfield
It was blended information when phrase got here down in regards to the Brief Cease closing in 2004. One, it wouldn’t be torn down. Two, it could be become a … Dunkin’ Donuts? The beautiful little 1953 diner — dig the multi-colored chrome stripes — was identified for its burgers and “eggs in a skillet.” Eggs got here in a pan, not a dish. A Fb web page was launched in 2014 “to construct group consciousness and funding to resurrect the Brief Cease.” Good luck with that.
Peterson’s Sundown Cabin, Lakewood
One other in an extended line of cabin-like eating places in New Jersey, Peterson’s was a “world well-known” red-shingled freeway hang-out. “Open solely so long as you like us” was the motto. A menu from the Nineteen Sixties supplied deep sea scallops for $2.50, a chef’s salad for $1 and “espresso by candlelight” for 1 / 4.
“This was a household type restaurant,” went one of many recollections on lostdestinations.com. “It was well-known for its charcoal hen amongst different superb dishes. You walked into the bar space and behind was an enormous room with row upon row of tables. On the finish of the room was an enormous open BBQ pit the place all of the dishes had been cooked.”
“42 years of hen gizzards with gravy, smothered turkey wings with okra and collard greens” was how Star-Ledger columnist Barry Carter described Je’s when proprietor Harry Sutton advised him Je’s was closing for good in 2013.
For years, Je’s, in downtown Newark, was the middle of the New Jersey soul meals universe. The cafeteria/luncheonette served the likes of Patti LaBelle and Shaquille O’Neal. “What we do right here is strictly Southern,” Diane Sutton, Harry’s late spouse, as soon as stated. “It doesn’t belong to 1 ethnic group. It’s Southern, it’s custom, it’s America.”
Hofbrauhaus, Atlantic Highlands
The Hofbrauhaus was probably the most splendid if not spacious of the state’s German eating places, with its beer hall-like inside, nonstop musical leisure and ever-flowing beer. I nonetheless bear in mind the kalbshaxen, the jumbo veal shank — a monstrous, marvelous slab of meat that will give Fred Flintstone pause.
The Hofbrauhaus was demolished in 2009 to make manner for customized houses.
Jorgensen’s Inn, Stockholm
A “giant rambling nation restaurant that served bounteous American fare in six antique-filled eating rooms.” That’s as good a description as any of Jorgensen’s Inn on Route 23 in Stockholm. It began modestly as a scorching canine stand — Lewis Mountainside Inn — within the Twenties. Richard Jorgensen took it over within the late 60s and reworked the constructing. When The New York Occasions reviewed Jorgensen’s in 1973, full dinners ranged from $5.75 to $8.50. “Nice steaks and seafood,” one common stated on Twitter. “As a child, we went there weekly.”
Compton’s Log Cabin, Haddon
Open for 60 years, a city landmark, then torn down for a brand new Ceremony Support. It’s a narrative repeated round New Jersey in recent times. Edwin Compton was the longtime proprietor; the constructing began as a small log cabin, increasing a number of occasions over time. The restaurant’s signature dish: Grandma Compton’s crab muffins.
Tower of Pizza, Inexperienced Brook
There have been no less than two Tower of Pizzas in New Jersey, one on Route 17 in Mahwah, the opposite on Route 22 in Inexperienced Brook. I finished within the latter a number of occasions over time — who may resist? — however don’t bear in mind if the pizza was any good.
One fan stated the kitschy Inexperienced Brook restaurant appeared on a postcard in “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” though for some cause it was recognized as being in Inexperienced Brook, N.Y.
Hackney’s, Atlantic Metropolis
Harry Hackney was generally known as the Lobster King; an indication above the lobster tanks inside his restaurant learn: “Harry Hackney says, By no means Eat a Lobster Till It Has Been Purified.” The huge oceanfront restaurant — it may maintain as much as 3,000 diners — was a far cry from the lunch wagon Hackney once sold clams from. It took up a full block of the Atlantic Metropolis Boardwalk alongside Absecon Inlet, and by one account was the largest seafood restaurant on the planet. The complicated included the Miss America Cocktail Lounge, and the menus all had the same message: “That is your menu. You might take it with you.”
Hackney’s was offered to outdoors house owners, who operated the restaurant into the early Nineteen Eighties, shut it down, then offered it in 1993. The brand new house owners introduced an formidable renovation, however Hackney’s by no means reopened. It was demolished within the late Nineties
The Annex, Princeton
The Annex, on Nassau Avenue in Princeton, was simply as a lot an icon on the town as Hoagie Haven or Conte’s, each nonetheless open. The subterranean restaurant, favored by generations of Princeton college students and academics, opened within the early Nineteen Thirties; the title got here from an consuming membership on campus. The black and orange decor and soccer staff pictures left little question what college it was being true to. The beloved restaurant closed in 2006.
The Syd’s canine. Any Jersey scorching canine fanatic will swoon upon listening to these phrases; the all-beef Finest’s canine, boiled then grilled, was the draw at legendary Newark scorching stand Syd’s. There was a Syd’s location on the Millburn Mall, nevertheless it closed in 2010. It was a bustling little luncheonette the place you can get breakfast and lunch, however these scorching canines had been the draw.
Elgin Diner, Camden
The Elgin Diner was a stunning diner — not all Jersey diners are. It opened in 1958, all brilliant neon and shining stainless-steel. Initially named the Honest-Lynne, it reopened because the Elgin Diner on Mom’s Day, 1961. George Vallianos finally took over the diner from his dad and uncle, redesigning the menu, renovating the inside.
The diner closed in 2007, reopened in 2010 and closed for good in 2012. It was demolished and changed by a Greenback Retailer.
The Chowder Pot, Keyport
The query “Who remembers the Chowder Pot” resulted in a boatload of solutions on The History of Keyport NJ Fb web page. “Beloved their clam muffins dipped of their New England chowder” one longtime buyer replied. “I grew up subsequent door. Beloved their fried onion rings,” added one other. The restaurant lasted 40 years, from 1955-95.
Huge Stash’s, Linden
June 28, 2015. That’s when Huge Stash’s served its final plate of pierogi. The “getting old constructing” and “rising price” of doing enterprise “have conspired to deliver the final of the prime rib to Huge Stash’s dinner desk,” the house owners stated of their Fb farewell message. A cash-only Linden favourite for Polish fare — and birch beer on faucet — Huge Stash’s closed its doorways after 47 years in enterprise. Regulars raved in regards to the kielbasa and kraut, pastrami sandwich, pierogi and big portion sizes.
Rutgers Grease Vehicles, New Brunswick
Ah, the Grease Vehicles. Subject of late-night longing for generations of Rutgers college students. There have been normally a half dozen parked in rather a lot on the nook of School Avenue and Hamilton Avenue, and so they supplied almost an identical menus — the identical sandwiches, the identical chips, similar delicate drinks. The sandwiches had been named after the scholars who requested the house owners to make them within the first place. My tackle the grease vehicles: the meals tasted higher the longer you stayed within the bars beforehand.
The vehicles had been pressured to vacate the lot in 2012, and the final of the vehicles to remain on the School Avenue campus, RU Hungry, didn’t have its license renewed for 2017, though there’s a storefront on Hamilton Avenue.
Settlers Inn, Medford Lakes
It was no shock to search out the log cabin-like Settlers Inn in Medford Lakes; the city claims the most important variety of log cabins on the planet. The city began as a resort with all log-cabin houses; no different kind of dwellings had been allowed to be constructed within the 30s and 40s. The Inn started because the Log Cabin Resort, and was later generally known as The Lodge and eventually Settlers Inn. “As a man who grew up in Medford, it’s nonetheless bizarre to me that Settler’s Inn isn’t there anymore,” @johnny_2hats reminisced on Twitter. “It was THE landmark and the sort of place that can by no means exist once more.”
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