A nearly 75-year-old piece of South Jersey history may be gone, as Geets Diner on Black Horse Pike in Williamstown closed abruptly around lunchtime Monday, Aug. 1.
That morning, owner NJK Hospitality LLC's Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition was converted to Chapter 7, which calls for liquidation of assets. The Chapter 11 petition, filed in May 2015, listed total assets of less than $50,000 against liabilities of $1 million to $10 million.
NJ.com reports that signs on the locked front doors and on the letter board beneath the signature vertical Geets sign at Black Horse Pike and Sicklerville Road on Tuesday read "closed for renovation."
Geets was the nickname of founder Frank Sylvester, who with his wife, Rose, opened it as a small truck stop in 1942 in what was then pretty much the middle of nowhere. Over the years, Geets endured, even as suburban sprawl enveloped the area and the Atlantic City Expressway replaced the pike as a shore route.
Historian Kevin Patrick and the Society for Commercial Archeology ran down a history of Geets and its various buildings in 2011. The Sylvester family sold it in the 1980s.
NJK Hospitality - which paid $2.13 million in 2005 for the 2.11-acre property, according to Gloucester County records - added a sports bar nearly a decade ago.
The most recent financial reports filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, covering April 2016, indicate that the diner had nearly $19,000 in net cash flow that month on $232,000 in sales.