When a New Jersey diner has been around for more than half a century and owned by the same family all that time, the patrons become family too. Let’s put this in perspective.

In 1967 Lyndon Johnson was president, we hadn’t yet landed on the moon, and MLK Jr. was still alive. It was that long ago.

For all that time the Diamantis family owned and operated Diamond Diner. The Burlington County family diner has been loved by multiple generations.

Now, it’s gone.

Photo via Susan Vineyard
Photo via Susan Vineyard

The beloved eatery on Route 38 in Hainesport closed down on March 3. It wasn’t always on Route 38. Originally it stood in Cherry Hill on Route 70. Seventeen years ago it was taken apart and moved in pieces by 9 trailers and put back together where it stands now.

The diner joins a long list of South Jersey diners that have closed. Places like the Penn Queen Diner in Pennsauken, Marlton Diner in Marlton, and the Red Lion Diner in Southampton.

Townsquare Media illustration
Townsquare Media illustration

But there’s some good news. Diamond Diner has gone dark, but it won’t be dark for more than a few months.

A sign that hung on the door greeting customers who didn’t know it had closed down read:

The Diamantis Family. Established October 1967 will be closing March 3rd, 2024 and will be under NEW Management (Pandora). Renovations will take about two months. We like to THANK YOU all for all your patronage and will miss you!

12 Best Diners at the New Jersey Shore - Photo: TSM Illustration
12 Best Diners at the New Jersey Shore - Photo: TSM Illustration

Yes, it’s going to reopen as a diner. It might not be quite the same. Pandora owns and operates diners in Springfield, Cinnaminson and Williamstown. They’re under not entirely creative names like Pandora 2, Pandora 3, etc.. Those who loved their Diamond Diner and the Diamantis family that ran it may find the new place homogenized.

They believe they will reopen in just a couple of months after some major renovations. It may look different, it may feel more corporate, but it will still be a diner. And in an age where too many diners are becoming car washes and urgent cares, at least New Jersey is hanging on to this one.

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