With a red 1970 Chevy Nova in the front lot, The Piston Diner may be getting more than just a few head turns from passing classic car aficionados. Yet, a selection of muscle cars is only one of the many attractions to this modern take on a classic American diner.
The Piston Diner officially opened its doors to customers on Monday, Dec. 3, with their grand opening celebration kicking off this weekend. Opening at 6 a.m. Monday morning, customers poured in steadily, and by 10:30 a.m. stuffed French toast was already the most popular breakfast of the day.
“They see the cars and the bikes,” says co-owner and head cook Jason Kramer. “The people love it.”
Kramer says many of the morning customers came in with stories of summers in Wildwood—some own their own residences down the shore, while others vacationed there regularly. Kramer says one gentleman even began to tear up as he recalled memories from Wildwood.
“It really is a small world,” says Kramer.
Kramer and co-owner Alan Myers made a name for themselves down in Wildwood Crest with the seasonal Doo Wop Coffee Shop. While already popular with the locals, the diner earned the title of Best Breakfast in South Jersey from local news station NBC TV 40 in 2011.
Looking for something year-round, the pair soon set their sights on the former Brunic’s Diner, located across from Eagle Point Refinery on Route 130 North in Westville. After purchasing the diner from former owners, Kramer and Myers spent roughly three months remodeling.
Complete with neon signs, vinyl wall wraps, and—of course—pistons, the diner delivers a retro atmosphere with a very modern flair.
Large 3-D flat-screen televisions are located throughout the diner. Kramer says the televisions are to keep the children entertained as he is awaiting delivery of the 3-D glasses. Also, place-mats with links to smartphone games will soon be available.
“Cooking with Gas,” a live-stream feed of the Piston Diner kitchen, will also be up shortly on the diner’s website.
With day one halfway over, Kramer said he is thrilled to be in Westville. He looks forward to meeting residents from Westville and neighboring towns, such as West Deptford and Woodbury. Hoping to bring the warm and casual environment of the Doo Wop Coffee Shop to the area, Kramer is looking forward to getting to know his customers on a first-name basis.