New Jersey: The Diner Capital Of The World, Curious History Facts! | Kidadl


New Jersey: The Diner Capital Of The World, Curious History Facts!

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New Jersey is unique in more than one way, and it has a number of striking features which makes it standout from other American states.

Diners in New Jersey came into existence back in the early parts of the 20th century which saw the introduction of the automobile industry. This allowed people to travel by car for long distances, and one such important route was from Philadelphia to New York which passed through New Jersey.

As drivers passed by New Jersey, they looked for affordable food joints where they could eat or drink at anytime of the day at a reasonable price. This gave rise to diner culture, and diners were first located only on the sides of highways. A diner was not a luxury restaurant. It was operated by local communities or Greek or Mexican immigrants. One could visually identify a diner with its unique looks. Initially a diner was a repurposed train coach or a large van with decorations and seats or benches for the customers. With the introduction of industries, there was a flurry of workers from across the country and some from other parts of the world too. They couldn't afford to eat in fancy restaurants, and opted for diners. The cross cultural exposure gave rise to a new style of diners and new menus. During the early days, New Jersey's diners served only American food but later on they expanded their food menus to include Italian, Mexican, and Asian cuisines as well. The facilities of a restaurant were once reserved to the wealthy only, but the introduction of diners has undoubtedly changed this.

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Which USA state is often referred to as the diner capital of the world?

The dense population, the growing industry, and a finely built transportation system led to New Jersey becoming the diner capital of the world. The concept of diners did exist before the state of New Jersey adopted it, but it was significantly popularized by this US state. New Jersey is a densely populated state in the US with its population density being 13 times more than that of other US states.

The variety of food available at diners was one of the biggest reasons behind diners being such a massive success. You could walk into a New Jersey diner for French toast with blueberries along with a coffee, or if not breakfast, these meal providers are open 24/7, so you can walk in for lunch as well. Burgers and fries are notably the most common choice among people but you can also opt for steak or any other fast food item of your choice. In the evening, local people, as well as, some business travelers are often spotted walking to a diner for a snack and there's a bar as well in some of the diners to quench your thirst. The number of diners in New Jersey make this state the diner capital of the world with the capital city of New Jersey being Trenton.

New Jersey As The Diner Capital Of The World

New Jersey is often commonly known as the diner capital of the world due to the variety of diners and the number of diners spanning across the state. The most popular or common location for these diners is on the highways running from Philadelphia to New York. Car drivers can take a break and get some lunch at some of the oldest Greek style diners located beside the road.

At the same time, people traveling to New York for business purposes isn't a new phenomenon. Such people are also often seen grabbing some burgers along the way as they go for their lunch. During the early days when workers from various parts of the world came to the USA to work in the industry, they often brought their families as well. This led to many Greeks working in diners whose owners were Americans, but with time the Greek waiters opened their own diners. The Greek styled glass decoration is a sign of the story of these immigrants.

New Jersey currently has approximately 525 diners, more than any other state in the world. People soon understood that if they wished to survive in the diner business in New Jersey, they would need to make their diner visually appealing and unique. A number of diners around the state can be seen with pressed metal, giving them a vintage look and reflects the ancient culture of American diners. There are a number of diners in New Jersey which have now been operational for more than 60 or 70 odd years. They were built back in the day and were one of the first ones in the state but they have been able to retain their customers owing to their service and behavior. One such example is Summit diner in New Jersey where the owner said that they treated their regular customers like family and this built an emotional bond. The people serving at the diner eventually memorized the regular bar or coffee order of some of their customers which made them feel valued.

Visually identify a diner with the unique looks

Oldest Diner In New Jersey

New Jersey has over 500 diners, but the first diner opened in the state was Summit Diner back in 1929. The diner gets it name from the location as the Summit Diner is located in Summit city, Union County, New Jersey.

The diner is currently owned by the Greberis family with Jim Greberis being the current head. Jim Greberis purchased it from his father-in-law in 1985 and has been dedicated towards maintaining the name of the diner ever since. Over the years, a number of high profile personalities including Jim Cramer and Jon Corzine are known to have dined at Summit Diner, the first of its kind which came into business in the late '20s. The story of Summit Diner is an evergreen one and throws light on the history of diners in the state of New Jersey.

What was the first American diner?

Diners are mainly regarded as an American thing, especially dominant in the northeastern and midwestern parts of the country. Majority of diners provide American cuisine food and are open round the clock with free coffee refills for their customers. In some areas of the country, a diner is also known by other names such as a beanery or an eatery.

The first ever American diner was opened in 1872 in Rhode Island by Water Scott, an entrepreneur who transformed a horse-pulled wagon into a van that served sandwiches along with eggs, pies, and coffees. It was open until late at night especially for people belonging to the weaker economic sections of society. The growth of diner wasn't very fast initially, but ever since the introduction of diners in New Jersey, one could find eateries serving fast food until late night in every nook and corner of the city. In the present day apart from diners, the state of New Jersey is widely known for its beaches and intense politics that thrives in the state. The geographical location of New Jersey play a pivotal role in this regard.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for New Jersey: the diner capital of the world, curious history facts! then why not take a look at Most dangerous animal in Africa: Here's what you need to know! or Vertebrate vs invertebrate: curious animal differences facts for kids?

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