A New Jersey diner that has been open for 64 years has just hit the market. Mustache Bill’s Diner in Barnegat Light, which was previously known as Joe’s Barnegat Light Diner, is for sale for $3.65 million, NJ.com reports. Dottie Brady Zauli, the sister of Bill Smith, Mustache Bill’s owner told the publication about the listing.
The legendary Jersey Shore eatery opened on May 9, 1959, where curent-owner Bill Smith started working at the age of 12 as a dishwasher. Smith is 72 and is retiring after working for 51 years.
Along with being a New Jersey staple, in 2009, Mustache Bill’s Diner received an America’s Classics award from the James Beard Foundation.
According to the award citation, diner food “is all too often of poor to middling quality. But not at Mustache Bill’s. For over 35 years, owner Bill Smith has made everything from scratch — refusing to buy anything premade. It’s the homemade, straight from the heart cooking that makes Mustache Bill’s a must-stop destination on the Jersey Shore.”
“You can fall into this complacent belief, ‘Oh, it’s just a hamburger,'” Smith said in a 2009 interview about his James Beard award. “But it’s somebody’s hamburger. It’s somebody’s meal. You’ve got to get into this head trip; each burger’s important. That’s where you get your consistency.”
“I’m sad he’s selling, but I’m glad. We can relax‚” said Brady Zauli, a Realtor for Oceanside Realty in Surf City who listed the property. Zauli is also very familiar with the diner as he worked at Mustache Bill’s for 50 years as well.
As for the future of the diner, it’s uncertain. The diner will open for the season starting Memorial Day weekend and usually closes mid-October.
“We hope someone will take the diner and move it,” Zauli explained. “They can build four houses here, but people don’t want the diner (to be torn down).”