Emmanuel with us this Christmas
Obituary: Catherine M. Lenney of Westville, NJ

If All Goes According to Plan:

Brooklawn Diner Will Open in Late January or Early February 2015 | cnbnews.net


Work on the front facade along with the sides of the diner is almost completed. But the back of the diner  still needs work. (photo credit CNBNews.net)

 by William E. Cleary Sr.




BROOKLAWN NJ—Renovation work on the front of the Brooklawn Diner, located at the Rt. 130

The new sign was put in place last week (photo credit CNBNews.net)

traffic circle, is nearing completion. Just last week a new sign was erected on the front of the diner.  However, after a survey of the building there is still a lot of work to be done on the back of the property. 


Michael Petrogiannis, a Greek immigrant who with his three brothers owns nine other restaurants, are the new owners.  Michael Petrogriannis, 58, came to this country when he was 16-years-old.


Some of the other eating establishments the family owns include:  South Philadelphia’s Melrose Diner, the Mayfair Diner,  the Country Club Diner in Northeast Philadelphia, the Broad Street Diner, La Veranda Restaurant, Tiffany’s Restaurant, the Warminster West in Bucks County and various Michael’s Diners.  


Donna Anderson, a spokes person for the family said last Friday the exact date for the opening of their new eatery is not known at this time. Anderson said they had hoped to open it by Christmas, “but now it looks like it will be sometime in late January or early February before it is opened.”


Kostas, Inc., the last owner of the diner closed it down without any announcement a few days before Christmas in December 2011. The property has set empty since that day. 


Kostas, Inc., had accumulated close to $4 million in debt, and filed for Chapter 11 in April 2011. The diner was sold at sheriff's sale Jan. 18, 2012 to the law firm Riker and Danzig in Morristown. Included in the $3.8 million of debt owed by proprietor Kostas, Inc. to more than 20 creditors was $2,700 to TriState Eggs of Lakewood, $5,838 to Pennsauken-based Lacas Coffee, $2,000 to Rockland Bakery and Waste Management and $7,500 to PSE&G.


When the diner first opened in the 1960's it was called the South Grove Diner, the front of it was built in the shape of a ocean liner. photo credit the West Jersey History Project site.   

This past May a construction crew appeared at the site and began the clean up of the grounds, along with making renovations to the inside and outside. 


Earl Foster, a Brooklawn resident who lives near the diner, had complained for sometime about the condition of the property.  As for now, he said,  " I watch almost daily as the Brooklawn Diner is being given a new life. The work going on there appears to be total and complete from the ground up giving the diner a complete transformation and total renewal. My family and I frequented that diner since I was a young boy and it's really great to see this South Jersey landmark return to our community". 


There are three other diners located in the same area within a mile or two. The Metro Diner, Rt. 130 and Browning Road, Brooklawn, The Gateway Diner, 106 Broadway, Westville and The Piston Diner, 821 Crown Point Road, Westville.