By Mark Matthews
A portion of the partnership which owns Brooklawn's Metro Diner is branching out into Gloucester Township.
Remodeling is under way at the long closed Charlie Brown's Steakhouse building, located near Camden County College. The new location will be called Lamp Post Diner, and a family restaurant is a primary focus.
Update: I spoke to Paul at the Metro Diner today (7/27/2013) to clarify the ownership of the new Blackwood location. While Paul is part of a partnership which owns The Metro diner... that same full group of partners are not opening up the Lamp Post Diner in Blackwood. Paul, who is a very familiar friendly face at the Brooklawn location, is taking on the Lamp Post Diner project outside of the Metro Diner partnership. So while there is a connection between the new Lamp Post Diner and the Metro diner, that does not extend into the "portfolio" of places listed on the main page of the Metro Diner site.
I stopped into the Metro Diner tonight and spoke to one of the managers who gave me a quick rundown... such as the targeted October opening.
One thing that is going to be different at the Blackwood property, is they are planning on having a sports bar in the building, which is something I've always thought the Metro should have.
A real-estate listing and marketing PDF, lists the property and liquor license at $1.8 million. The PDF includes a blueprint of the closed Charlie Brown's with its large front bar. I have no indications on what changes are planned.
The only other thing I have found is that back in October 2012 (PDF), Gloucester Township approved the transfer of the alchohol license to a Frank Lauletta. Oddly, this is not the person I found (Paul) who is listed on the Lamp Post Diner website registration.
Like most of my posts, I sort of stumbled on to this. I was visiting my daughter last weekend who lives in the Blackwood area, saw a construction crew at the Charlie Brown's building and a banner with website listing. Its actually something I look out for, especially since I had eaten there many times, and I even remember going there in the late 80s when I turned 21... working the charm on the ladies at "Chatterly's". Ok I was there once, and I had no charm. Still don't. :-) Anyway, my wife was driving and I made her turn the car around "over there.. over there!" I took some pics and when I got home a quick "whois" internet lookup of the web address gave me the name of the person who registered the site... and then a google of his name turned up... "Oh damn, what do you know, his Linked-in profile says he is an owner at the Metro Diner"
I don't have more details than that... but its another nice win for Gloucester Township, who will also soon see the Stone Grille location turned into an Off-track betting facility.