Historic NJ Diner, Once Featured on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,’ Now For Sale
If you have ever said to yourself, "I'd love to own a diner in New Jersey one day," here's your chance.
Of course, saying you'd like to own one is the easy part. Owning it, working at it, and keeping it going is an entirely different battle.
Perhaps before jumping in head-first, you should sit down and have a cup of coffee with Bill Smith.
He owns Mustache Bill's Diner in Barnegat Light on Long Beach Island.
Smith is 72 years old and is retiring, according to NJ.com. His decision is well-deserved, especially since he's been working there for over half a century.
There's been a diner at 704 Broadway in Barnegat Light since 1955.
That's 68 years -- and not much has changed there.
Writing for NJ.com, Peter Genovese says,
On looks alone, Mustache Bill’s may be the state’s most classic ‘50s diner. It has terrazzo flooring, pale green Naugahyde booths, no computers and just an old-time cash register — cash only.
If you want to keep a truly historic diner going, it can be yours for $3,650,000.
The real estate listing says you can, "retain the existing iconic structure for restaurant or other use!"
Losing a piece of history?
But here's what that same listing also says,
This 21,000+ sq ft lot is suitable for new homes, new commercial or a multitude of other uses. Close to ocean and bay, a stone's throw to the Lighthouse and nestled deep in this charming village, the property presents unlimited opportunity and value for the investor. Use this property for new commercial or residential construction... Potential for subdivision of up to 4 buildable lots...
In other words, it's not easy finding a lot this big on the north end of Long Beach Island, where houses routinely sell for millions of dollars, and here's a chance for someone to build four of them -- if they demolish the diner.
If you are like me, you are a sucker for nostalgia, and the thought of demolishing a classic Jersey diner in favor of four fill-in-the-blank mega houses that look like every other mega house in the same neighborhood is sad, to say the least.
Should you choose to keep the diner going, it looks like you would be taking over a well-respected business as people rave about this place.
For a diner this place is fantastic!!! The food is fresh! The service is great! Clean! Open for dine inside or outside. Their omelets are wonderful. Our favorite was the liverwurst & onion sandwich! Second best was the potato skin omelette. My son loved the fried clam platter...
By far the best diner for breakfast on the island. Randomly started craving their pancakes today and flashbacked to the summer. Always a great atmosphere. The wait staff is kind and wonderful. Make sure to get there early or be prepared to wait.
Pancakes are undoubtedly the best on the island and quite possibly the best I've ever had. Everything is made fresh to order. Eggs are always cooked perfectly. You won't find a better breakfast on LBI.
If you are interested in the property, you can reach out to Oceanside Realty.
And yes, Mustache Bill's was featured on Food Network's hit show, "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," just like these fantastic restaurants were...