SAYREVILLE — A diner owner nearly spoiled a visit to an eatery by Gov. Phil Murphy and the state's legislative leaders to tout their $15 minimum wage deal when he initially said he opposed it.

Teddy Lutas owns the Ocean Bay Diner and hosted the Democratic leaders Tuesday as they prepare to vote this week on a measure to phase in a $15 hourly minimum wage over five years.

Lutas initially said he might have to close under the burden of paying workers a higher wage.

But after his comments circulated on social media, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin sent a statement from Lutas clarifying his earlier remarks.

Lutas says he didn't realize the wage would be phased in over five years. He says he's not worried about closing and backs the measure.

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