It stood for decades. For nearly half a century. There in the shadow of the Betsy Ross Bridge in Pennsauken, the Penn Queen diner became iconic since opening in 1964.

It closed down last May and the building has sat empty ever since. One can only imagine how many friends met up there over the years. How many business deals were talked through. How many meetups, breakups, and life’s little dramas went down there over time.

Google Maps
Google Maps

This classic South Jersey diner may now see a wrecking crew. The property that used to cast a neon glow upon the 7300 block of Crescent Boulevard (aka Rt 130) is the subject of a proposal before the Pennsauken zoning board. Developers are interested in leveling it and building a Taco Bell on the site. There would also be a coffee shop on the corner of the property.

The plan calls for a 52-seat Taco Bell in a stand-alone building separate from the one that would house the coffee shop which would have 29 seats. Both would have drive-thrus.

Google Maps
Google Maps

The times certainly are changing for South Jersey diners. The former Sage diner in Mount Laurel and the Marlton diner in Evesham are both becoming marijuana dispensaries.

A self-storage place is going in on the property that used to be the Elgin Diner in Mount Ephraim. The Cherry Hill Diner is set to become a car wash.

Feels like a siege of the diner capital of the world, doesn't it? Is this how our grandparents felt when all the New Jersey drive-ins went away?

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