The first week of the year brought some abrupt closings to some popular restaurants in South Jersey.

TGI Fridays on Route 73 in Marlton, once the busiest store in the chain, suddenly closed for good right after the new year.

Google Maps
Google Maps

We used to take our kids there every weekend and the place was always packed. Maybe it's time had passed. It was the place for families or getting together with friends for two generations. Gone!

Right up the road on the other side of Route 73 was the recently opened Jose Tejas. It opened a little more than a year ago and abruptly closed the day after New Year's Day. There was no notification of the closing, just a statement from the company expressing their appreciation to the customers.

The Mexican Food Factory about a mile away closed on New Year's Eve.

Google Maps / Canva
Google Maps / Canva

I heard the owners were getting on in years and were considering offers.

Houlihan's in Cherry Hill closed about a year ago. We just got word this week that a very popular pizzeria in Haddonfield called Pizza Crime is closing permanently.

So what is happening!? Why all of the closings now? What makes it so hard to operate a restaurant in New Jersey?

A friend of mine who owns a restaurant at the shore and has operated restaurants for 40 years had an easy answer ... LABOR COSTS.


As of the first of the year, the minimum wage in New Jersey has gone up to over $15 an hour.

While servers make much less than that due to tips, they are only a part of the staffing that goes into operating a restaurant. The idiots, whores and out-of-touch knuckleheads in Trenton want you to think they've done a good thing for the people. But in reality, they're crushing small businesses and driving people out of business and out of the state.

Business owners and experts predicted this would happen and it has. So there are fewer jobs to go around and fewer businesses to stick around. Great job Trenton, you clueless, pandering idiots!

Restaurants that closed in New Jersey During 2023

Here are some of the restaurants that closed their doors around New Jersey in 2023 listed alphabetically. Did your favorite restaurant close in 2023? Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.

Gallery Credit: Joni Sweet

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

You can now listen to Dennis & Judi — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite best friends anytime, anywhere and any day of the week. Download the Dennis & Judi show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM