Blackwood-Clementon Road in Gloucester Township has had a Burger King restaurant for as long as I can remember, and it seems they are looking to upgrade the store in a big way by building a completely new location up the road just at bit, according to a Gloucester Township Zoning Board meeting notice. The meeting is scheduled for May 22nd.
The address for the new Burger King is 1370 Blackwood-Clementon Road, which is an empty lot situated between Filomena’s Restaurant and Rite-Aid. The lot was last the home to East Side Mario’s, which was a unique and fun Italian Restaurant and bar in the late 90s.
It is becoming more common for long standing restaurants to remodel and rebuild. People’s expectations of a dining experience are changing (just look at the evolution of Taco Bell), buildings “deprecate” in tax terms over time so over the years it becomes a tax liability to have an older building, the older buildings can be expensive to maintain, and lastly.. Gloucester Township is very open about its 5 year staggered tax incentive programs for new building construction, and I would assume this new building would qualify (to be determined by Council). We have no word on what is to become of the old Burger King building and property.
This area of Blackwood-Clementon Road is starting the rebirth with the opening of a Royal Farms and a Republic Bank in the same close area. Residents are still hoping to see a LIDL supermarket to come in a little further up the road, but they have not materialized on any of their South Jersey stores beyond the initial Vineland location.
East Side Mario’s
A little nostalgia…I remember going to East Side Mario’s a couple times with the family, as my youngest daughter was a preschooler at the time, and the eatery was definitely geared towards families. The interior was developed as an New York Italian outdoor neighborhood scene, with storefronts and iconic New York elements. It reminded me of a “If Disney opened a chain of Italian restaurants” vibe to it. There was a separate walled off bar area that I don’t ever think I visited… it’s a different life with young kids!
I found this youtube video from someone else, of the East Side Mario’s building before it was demolished. Unfortunately they didn’t do the “urban explorer” thing and go into the building. Not that I would condone that! ha