Abandoned gas station in Flemington, NJ may become restaurant
Eric Hineline’s gas station and garage stood on Main Street in Flemington, New Jersey for many years like a throwback to better, simpler times in America.
Friends and customers say he was a gifted mechanic and a fun character but he fell on rough economic times years ago. The business became troubled and was a sore spot for the township.
Years ago the Department of Environmental Protection had a $2 million lien on his property. That was for a department cleanup of a fuel leak from underground storage tanks. There were accusations of a poorly maintained property and once it was the subject of discussions of an eminent domain takeover.
Then there was the $225,000 the township said Hineline owed, claiming he hadn’t paid property taxes nor sewer and water bills for over a decade.
Hineline is long gone but the legacy is not forgotten. The shop has sat abandoned for a few years now, frozen in time.
Here are a few pics of what it looks like today. I took them myself as I live just half a mile from here.
Well, it may not look like this for much longer. The borough acquired the property a few years back and after environmental issues were addressed it’s now looking like it may be converted into a restaurant.
Plans call for an addition on the building, which would triple its size. The eatery would have table space for 48 seats, plus 11 seats at a counter and 16 more outdoors.
The restaurant proposal has yet to be approved by the Planning Board and a public hearing has not been set. But I hope it goes smoothly as the property has been an issue for such a long time.
And I also hope that some of Hineline’s old friends and customers sit at that outdoor seating area and tell some great stories about him some warm summer night.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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