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Main - Stories from New Jersey Diners

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Main Library
Meeting Room

Event Details

This event will take place in-person at the Woodridge Main Library
No registration required!

“Stories from New Jersey Diners,” published in 2019 by The History Press, is the newest book by Garden State author Michael C. Gabriele. For more than 100 years diners have played an important role in New Jersey’s history as gathering places for a community. Diner experiences—good food, slice-of-life encounters with friends and strangers, and the memories they inspire—reflect the state’s spirit, culture and mythology.

All participants will have the chance to enter into a raffle to win a gift card to the Reo Diner! The Reo Diner has graciously donated gift cards for this raffle.


The book (190 pages and over 80 photos, including a 16-page color insert) documents stories gathered throughout the “Diner Capital of the World.” These are heartfelt remembrances that have shaped lives, families, careers, businesses, and communities—the “untold” stories of New Jersey’s history. Many tales are snapshots of the immigrant experience—people who have traveled to New Jersey from far-away countries to gain a foothold as American citizens.

Chapters in the book include memories of late-night eats during Wildwood’s wild rock-and-roll days of the 1950s; an entrepreneur who traveled eight-thousand miles from India and opened a diner in the Pine Barrens; first-person remembrances from Newark’s famous, long-gone Weequahic Diner; and a frantic, impromptu midnight wedding ceremony held in an Elizabeth lunch wagon in 1906.

This is Gabriele’s fourth book on New Jersey history, and second book about the Garden State’s diner business, all published by Arcadia Publishing/The History Press (website: www.arcadiapublishing.com/The-History-Press). His previous books are (in chronological order): “The Golden Age of Bicycle Racing in New Jersey;” “The History of Diners in New Jersey;” and “New Jersey Folk Revival Music—History and Tradition.”

A lifelong Garden State resident, Gabriele is a 1975 graduate of Montclair State University and has worked as a journalist, freelance writer and author for more than 40 years. He’s a member of the executive boards of Allied Artists of America, New York, the New Jersey Folk Festival at Rutgers University, the Nutley Historical Society, the Theater League of Clifton, and serves on the advisory board of the Clifton Arts Center. Gabriele writes an occasional diner blog for the website “Jersey Bites (https://jerseybites.com), A Quest for Food with Attitude.”

Event Type(s): Presentation / Lecture
Age Group(s): Adults (18+)