Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Good-Bye Again to Olga's Diner, A Once Beloved Landmark

Olga's Diner, a landmark that once attracted hordes of travelers en-route to the Jersey shore, was shuttered five years ago. We said our goodbyes then, but its skeleton remained, an island surrounded by traffic when the Marlton Circle was removed. But now, the deteriorating old restaurant has been declared "blighted" and all traces of it could soon be condemned and demolished. It could disappear from the landscape but not our memories.

Good-Bye Again to Olga's Diner, A Once Beloved Landmark

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Olga´s Diner, a landmark on the old Marlton Circle, when it was closed.   AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer
Olga's Diner, a landmark on the old Marlton Circle, when it was closed. AKIRA SUWA / Staff Photographer
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Olga's Diner, a landmark that once attracted hordes of travelers en-route to the Jersey shore, was shuttered five years ago.  We said our goodbyes then, but its skeleton and eight-foot red neon sign remained, a nod to the past. 

Then, when the Marlton Circle was removed during a highway improvement project, the old building became an island surrounded by traffic at the crossroads of Routes 73 and 70.   

 Now, Olga's Diner has been declared "blighted" and all traces of it could soon be condemned and demolished.  The Evesham Township Council deems it an eyesore. 

Goodbye again old girl. 

Opened at Marlton Circle in 1959, Olga's was named after the mother of the owner, John Stavros, a first-generation Greek American.  It  was known for its large selection of diner food and its fine bakery goods.  I remember the homemade taste of pies we would savor on our way to LBI or Atsion Lake. 

Mostly, it was just a friendly, familiar sight on a busy circle. 

But time marches on.  The circle is now a maze of overpasses and ramps. The massive project began soon after Olga's closed and took years to complete. 

Now the old diner may be erased from the landscape.  But it won't be gone from our collective memories.  


   

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Written by Inquirer staff writer Jan Hefler, the Burlco Buzz blog covers breaking news in the the county, as well as its quirky characters, crime cases, politics, outdoor recreation and environment. Contact Jan at jhefler@phillynews.com.

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