With the first official snow of the season occurring only a week into November, the winter blues may soon be setting in for some. And while warm summer days, boardwalks and beaches may be far in the rearview—Piston Diner may just have locals reminiscing about the shore.
Located on Route 130 North in Westville, directly across from Eagle Point Refinery, renovations are currently underway at the Piston Diner. After buying the former Brunic’s Diner about two months ago, co-owner Jason Kramer hopes to have the restaurant open by Nov. 26.
Kramer, along with his friend and business partner Alan Myers, are no strangers to the restaurant business—they own a successful seasonal restaurant located in Wildwood Crest called Doo Wop Coffee Shop. The restaurant was even named the Best Breakfast in South Jersey by NBC TV 40 in 2011.
Since Doo Wop Coffee Shop is seasonal, Kramer says he and Myers wanted to buy a restaurant that could remain open year-round. The pair soon after decided to bring the '50s flair of the Doo Wop Coffee Shop a little farther north and a little closer to Myers' home.
Why name it the Piston Diner?
“We’re all gearheads, we all have motorcycles and muscle cars,” says Kramer.
While there will be no shortage of neon signs and vinyl wall wraps, the Piston Diner will also have that old fashioned muscle car feel. Among his many innovative ideas for the restaurant, Kramer is planning on having Piston Diner "driver’s licenses" for kids, which he plans to incorporate into the diner’s loyalty program.
In addition, Kramer is also planning to live stream a video feed as he cooks in the kitchen of the diner. Kramer says he is not afraid of putting a webcam in his kitchen, because he has nothing to hide from customers. The live feed will be found on the diner’s website.
As far as food goes, Kramer says customers can expect a short and simple menu with some home-style favorites. The diner will start out with a breakfast and lunch menu, but plans to include a dinner menu sometime next year. One of the menu’s main attractions will be the Piston classics (also known as the Kramer classics), consisting of a cheesesteak sandwich with eggs, made to order. In addition, Doo Wop favorites such as stuffed French toast, bananas foster, and a variety of chopped salads are will all be featured on the menu, and all for a reasonable price.
“There’s no astronomical prices, we’re not here to rob people,” says Kramer.
A firm believer in fresh quality food, Kramer explains he makes almost everything he serves from scratch, all the way down to the salad dressings. Also, special requests are always an option, says Kramer, who is not afraid of customizing dishes for a patron. Kramer, who is also the head cook at Doo Wop Coffee Shop, will be heading up the Piston Diner, as well, with 36 years of cooking experience under his belt.
“I’ve been cooking my whole life, since I could turn the gravy,” he says.
The key to success, Kramer believes will be the light and relaxed environment of the new diner. At the Doo Wop Coffee Shop, Kramer explains that staff members are never afraid to show-off their personalities. In addition to some character, Kramer says he would like to bring the environment from the Doo Wop Coffee Shop to the area by throwing events such as classic cars shows and getting involved with the community.