Call it Bloody Tuesday.

On Tuesday January 2 a bunch of TGI Friday's locations across the country closed suddenly with no notice. Not only were customers blindsided so were employees. Most had no idea it was coming.

Dozens of TGI Fridays over 12 states went dark and no state lost more than New Jersey.

7 Garden State locations in all.

Printed signs on locked doors greeted customers (and I bet some unsuspecting workers who didn’t know to not show up) with language like “We regret to inform you that Fridays has made the difficult decision to close our doors at (location city) effective January 2, 2024.”

Photo via Susan Vineyard
Photo via Susan Vineyard

TGI Fridays confirmed the following day that “underperforming locations” were being closed across the country as “part of the brand’s ongoing growth strategy.” Here in New Jersey the seven locations that were closed are:

  • Iselin/Woodbridge, NJ: 401 Gill Ln, Iselin, NJ 08830
  • Hackensack, NJ: 411 Hackensack Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601
  • Wayne Town Center, NJ: 71 Route 23 South, Wayne, NJ 07470
  • Eatontown, NJ: 180 NJ-35 Ste 6000, Eatontown, NJ 07724
  • Springfield, NJ: 40 US-22, Springfield, NJ 07081
  • Marlton/Evesham, NJ: 970 ROUTE 73 N, Marlton, NJ 08053
  • Princeton, NJ: 3535 US-1 #275, Princeton, NJ 08540

So that first one crushes me. The Iselin location was a constant hangout of mine in the 90’s. I must have dined there at least a hundred times over a 5-year period.

Back then the place was always hopping. They practically defined the fast casual concept. The staff was the best and friendliest you could find.

I still remember the layout and where we would always try to get a table in the raised portion that overlooked the bar.

Their chicken fingers with honey mustard and a Jack and Coke were the perfect treat after a long week.

Chicken Fingers
Photo via AnnapolisStudios

I can’t believe they’re gone. Is this what all the kids with screws and pins in their ankles felt when Action Park closed down? Is this what everyone who used to watch Snooki do shots felt when Karma was recently demolished?

Stop messing with my New Jersey memories before this place is unrecognizable.

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