Another classic New Jersey diner has closed its doors after the Harrison in East Orange will not be reopening due to a fire.

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More and more, we see these classic Jersey eateries close their doors and replaced by national franchises. Though the food is good at many of these chain establishments, there is still nothing like Jersey Diner food.

I remember as a child going with my father and sister every Friday night to the Yankee Tower in Fairview and gorging on their incredible meatloaf. The only exception was, of course, during lent when I had to go fried seafood platter instead.

When I worked at Great Adventure in my late teens and early twenties we mostly frequented the OB, Regent, or Silver Bell diners after a night of partying.  When I had my mobile DJ business in the 80’s and worked numerous parties in Monmouth County, I’d be at the Manalapan diner eating a bagel with nova lox, cream cheese, raw onion and onion rings. Later when I moved to Twin Rivers, I’d go to Mom’s Peppermill for a cheesesteak with bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.

Now one of my favorite places is Ponzio’s in Cherry Hill. There’s just something about the diner experience that makes the food taste so much better.

Are diners slowly fading away or are they alive and well in New Jersey?