A Huge List of New Jersey Restaurants That Have Closed This Year
If you think it's easy to own a restaurant, consider this: the National Restaurant Association estimates a 20% success rate for all restaurants, about 60% of restaurants fail in their first year, and 80% fail within five years of opening.
Yes -- there is a 4-in-5 chance that the new restaurant that you just discovered will be gone within a handful of years.
Mind you, we're obviously not in the middle of nowhere. All nine million people in New Jersey and the millions of tourists passing through here all need to eat, yet it's very common for restaurants to close one night and never reopen.
This year seems to have been particularly brutal. People have been dealing with inflation, so they aren't eating out as much, and, of course, the lack of motivated people who are willing to work hard.
No part of the state seemed to be exempt from that problematic business climate and neither was any particular type of cuisine.
Big chains have shut down as have terrific mom-and-pop places -- and even diners in the diner capital of the world have disappeared this year.
Let's take a look back at some wonderful restaurants that we can no longer visit in the Garden State...
The Tortilla Press, Collingswood
The Tortilla Press in downtown Collingswood, Camden County, closed its doors for good in June.
Husband-and-wife team Lydia Cipriani and Mark Smith opened the restaurant in the summer of 2002.
“It was a great ride for as long as it lasted,” Cipriani said to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Their other restaurant, Tortilla Press Cantina in Merchantville, remains open.
Mystic Islands Casino, Little Egg Harbor
After almost 60 years on Mathistown Road in southern Ocean County, the bar and restaurant portion of Mystic Islands Casino closed on July 17th.
The restaurant had quite a following for its excellent wings, clams, burgers, and specials like prime rib on Saturday night.
The liquor store will remain open.
BurgerTime in Audubon, Camden County, an 80s-themed burger spot, closed for good in early October.
Its owners recently took to Facebook to share the news:
This decision didn't come lightly. I want to thank each and every one of you who has made Burgertime, what it is. Your support has meant the world to me since day one.
Done, Margate City
A popular Margate takeout spot closed for good in March.
Done, which was located on Ventnor Avenue, simply said, "The time has come for us to close our doors."
Bertucci's, Mt. Laurel
The last location of Bertucci's Italian Restaurant in New Jersey closed earlier this year.
That restaurant, on Nixon Drive in Mount Laurel, seemed to defy the odds as many other Bertucci's around the region closed as the company sought bankruptcy protection.
While none remain open in the Garden State, you can find a few Bertucci's in the region. Two are in the suburbs of Philadelphia and another in Delaware.
After 35 years, Daikichi, a popular sushi restaurant in Montclair, closed right around Labor Day.
A message posted to their website said, "This was an incredibly difficult decision to make and while we are sad to say goodbye to this era, our family is ready to move on to its next chapter. Thank you for your support..."
Empire Diner, Parsippany
The Empire Diner on Route 46 in Parsippany closed a couple of months ago.
Reports say the diner was doing well until COVID struck. From then, they cut their menu and operating hours.
The property was sold for $3 million in February to Shree Estates LLC, which has bought other properties in the area.
Main Street Café, Phillipsburg
Main Street Café, which served breakfast and lunch on South Main Street in Phillipsburg, Warren County, closed in September.
But there is some good news -- its owner has purchased another café just across the river in Bethlehem Township, PA, and their full menu will be moving over to the Keystone State.
JW's Restaurant, Absecon
JW's Restaurant in Absecon, often cited for its great breakfast and more, shut down in February.
Iberia Tavern and Restaurant, Newark
It is with the most heavy heart that we announce the closing of Iberia Restaurant. We can not thank you enough for all the love and support you showed us during our 49 years in businesses.
After opening decades ago, Iberia Tavern quickly became known for its Portuguese and Spanish cuisine, served in giant portions.
Dim Sum and Then Some!, Ventnor City
Dim Sum and Then Some!, a popular Cantonese-style Chinese restaurant in Ventnor, shut down in September.
Dim Sum opened in October 2021 and immediately made its mark with delicious savory fried or steamed dumplings with various fillings and a variety of traditional Chinese food dishes.
Park Place Kosher, Highland Park
This restaurant, which had been open for 16 years, had a little bit of everything on its menu -- steaks, burgers, pastrami, kabobs, Philly cheesesteaks, and more.
Ray's Roadside Kitchen, Cream Ridge
Ray's Roadside Kitchen on Route 539 in Cream Ridge, which opened in September 2022, closed right after Memorial Day.
Thank you to our great customers. It has been our pleasure to serve you, unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances we are now permanently closed.
No other information was provided.
Sipos Bakery, Perth Amboy
At the end of May, Sipos Bakery in Perth Amboy announced they were closing after half a century.
Many of you have heard by now, and unfortunately the rumor is true. We are very sad to announce that Sipos’ Bakery will be closing its doors for the last time on June 4th, 2023. We are very thankful to all of our loyal customers for the continuous patronage and support over the decades.
This family-owned bakery was a landmark in their community.
Sneddon's Luncheonette, Lambertville
Sneddon's Luncheonette in downtown Lambertville closed in the middle of June.
We will miss the smiles and the laughs, and the customers who have become our friends. We can’t begin to thank you enough for supporting our business through floods, hurricanes, blizzards, power outages and of course, a global pandemic.
Sneddon's had a perfect location right on Bridge Street in downtown Lambertville, right across the river from New Hope, PA.
A&S Salumeria, Millstone Township
After two generations in business, A&S Salumeria, an iconic Italian market and butcher shop in Monmouth County, also closed in May.
After 45 years in the business (21 of them in Millstone Township), I've decided to put down the knives and hang up the apron. What a ride it has been. I've met thousands of beautiful people along the way. Many of my customers and employees have become more than acquaintances but lifelong friends that mean the world to me.
The owner decided to retire due to health issues.
D's Soul Full Cafe, Hoboken
As May started, D's Soul Full Cafe in Hoboken closed its doors for good.
D’s, which opened in 2006, served comfort food with a twist, featuring unique breakfast burritos, sandwiches, salads, soups, and beyond.
Kimchi Smoke, Westwood
Pitmaster and owner of Kimchi Smoke in Bergen County, Robert Austin Cho, shared the news that one of their locations was closing.
We thank everyone who has visited us, supported us, dined in, took out, bought merchandise and sauce, ordered catering, wrote reviews, shared photos, posted photos, wrote blogs, articles, interviews, voted for us...
The Southern-style Korean barbecue restaurant originally opened in Bergenfield in 2016 but it quickly outgrew the space. That's when it moved to Westwood. A second location in Ridgewood, just six miles away, opened last year.
That second location remains open.
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Gallery Credit: Stacker