It was recently announced at the Medport diner in my town will be closing. We didn’t go there too often, but it was always a nice spot to meet someone for breakfast or a quick bite.

For generations in New Jersey, we have kind of taken diners for granted. There’s always been several in any area of New Jersey and they will always be there. That’s not the case anymore.

Just up the road from the Medport Diner on Route 70 was the Red Lion Diner. That closed a few months ago reportedly selling out to Wawa, which will open a large convenience store/gas station.

It’s rumored that the Medport diner will be replaced by a small shopping center that will include a Chipotle.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Could it be the diners have had their run? That very well may be the case. Diners are usually run by immigrant families, many of whom are Greek or Turkish. As we get into the second, third and fourth generations of these families, interest wains for the younger generations to take over. That’s one reason, but the main reason is labor costs.

In a state where the minimum wage is now over $15 an hour and yes, that also affects servers who get triple the rate they did a few years ago, even though it’s below the mandated $15.



You also have kitchen staff cooks, dishwashers, maintenance, front of the house help, etc. So, family run businesses like diners are almost impossible to run. Corporations and chains like Chipotle are much better equipped to handle the expense of operations.

So, cherish that local diner in your town. It may not be there forever or for very long. I hope you like fast food!

NJ Diners that are open 24/7

Hours as of September 2023.

Gallery Credit: Jordan Jansson, Mike Brant

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More than 6,000 people took the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 26, 2022 to raise more than $2 million for the Special Olympics New Jersey.

Gallery Credit: Andrew Miller/For Townsquare Media NJ

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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