Old Riverside Train Diner
Does anyone know it the Old Riverside diner (Train) on Rt 46 in Liberty Twp.
was sold? I passed by Saturday and there was a group of cars and vans
emptying out the building'
Caged - Sales are not kept at the township level. If you want to know if it's sold, you need to go to the county courthouse.
But if someone came before the planning board.......or got a building permit....
problem number 1...that place had a bad septic system...replacing the septic system would cost huge amounts of money... problem number 2 the buildings are in terrible shape...the Pullman Railroad car might be the most valuable thing on that property
here is a better picture of the Pullman dining car Azalea... that currently resides at the closed Riverside restaurant...it was formerly used as a dining car on the Gulf,Mobile & Ohio Railroad...the car is very well known throughout the railroad preservation community
GC the township clerk is the gossip link of every township if you need some quick info you talk to the clerk ( oh by the way what have you heard about the riverside down on 46 looks like someone is doing work , Bang you get the lo down )
There was a band filming a video in front of it on Saturday. I don't know what band it was or any other info. All i saw was a band playing and people filming them as I drove by.
Is that what that was? We rode by and I saw something going on, but didn't realize it was a band filming ~ beautiful day for a beautiful ride Saturday was.
Thanks for the info and the pic, oldman.
seems like time has come around again...any oldtimers...here remember when the band Blackfoot used to play at the Riverside http://youtu.be/R-pqNtAfTMI
I remember blackfoot playing there , we had our wedding rehersal dinner there the owner was a ok guy friend of uncle
I recall seeing the red Gulf, Mobile & Ohio trains at Union Station in Chicago in the 1960's, when they ran to and from St. Louis. That diner may very well have been among the equipment in use then, but looking a lot more spiffy than now.
I remember when the train car was brought there I can see it being moved off the trailers that brought it there
I'm waiting for a banner hanging from the train car: "sports bar...coming soon".... ;-)
Seriously though, I noticed today when I passed that someone did some repair work on the roof. There was a small tarp installed on a small portion of the roof. Not sure if that relates to the activity Nomad saw there over the weekend.
from what I understand...when the train car was being put in position next to the building...the crane operator accidentally dropped the car and it was damaged
Had my wedding reception there 42yrs ago...and also our 25th anniversary party. Sad to have watched the buildings go downhill over the years.
When did that place close? I lived in Liberty from like 1985- 2002 ish and I don't ever remember it being open
Had my wedding reception there in 1991. Went there for several other parties after that- including my mom's 60th birthday party in 2001. Lost my good Black Overcoat there at that party- too much partying I guess- LOL. Anyway- miss eating there. By the way- in this past week's Warren Reporter, there is an engagement announcement by Joanie and Tony(who owned the Train) for their god kids.
I worked on the place for Tony... his kitchen was spotless...he was a nice guy...but the buildings were deteriorating...had dinner in the train car once...we had a family party there several times...but we got tired of Joanie... could not deal with her...and I am not the only person who has this complaint...I even remember when Jimmy Doyle had the Riverside... remember the railroad crossbuck and the sign...Doylestown...
Really 2001??? Wow I must have been clueless as a kid
I told my husband I lived in Liberty most of my childhood and never remember it being open.....and to find out it was open in 2001 just proves I dont pay attention
Does anybody have any pictures of what it use to look like back in the day?
Thank you.... It was a good day to take photographs of the place. The property was not as over grown as it is now.
Oldman...searching in my "memory bank" ...didn't Tony's son take over the Riverside after he passed away? If I recall it was about then that we stopped going there...we found out after a couple of times going there then too that we had to make sure and count our change carefully and read over our bill after dinner as it was always wrong.
Sort of strange, I was fishing behind there yesterday and I looked in the windows of the train car, the tables are still set, as if they were open yesterday!
nosila, in the mid to late 70's was when they had a lot of live bands on the weekends.
That was mentioned once before on here (different thread), about how it looked like they just closed the doors and left everything as is. Kinda creepy, haha
Our family went there once. When the check came, I tried to read the bill as it seemed higher than we thought. My husband told me to just leave a tip and pay the bill. Well, they got tipped twice. They had included a tip on the bill.
I think that it was I who posted about the tables remaining set in that other thread. Always thought it was kind of eerie.
the tables are still set in the railroad car...because Tony and Joanie had hopes of selling the restaurant to new owners who would keep the place open...two auctions were held and both sales contracts fell through...Tony and Joanie moved to Florida thinking the sale of the property had been settled...they had a bit of a rough time for a while...things must be better now...
I drove by the place the other day...and garbage bags were still piled against the building
A group of us had dinner in the train on the last day they were opened - and it really wasn't that long ago. 5 or 6 years ago at the most.
The owners used to host a monthly senion citizen lunch, too - in the main building. They charged an insanely low nominal fee that included a nice lunch for the seniors, little give-aways, and even entertainment.
I had heard that the owners bought a condo and moved to Florida with plans for an entertaintainment show for seniors. But when the sale of The Riverside fell thru, they were left in dire straits. Never heard an update on their well-being though.
I went there wen I was young and I'm only 22 I miss that place
Sadly the condition of the building continues to go downhill. The roof appears to now be caving in above the front door where a temporary tarp was put in place some time ago.
Was born there,(well in Hacketstown) lived there till 84 when my parents sold it and retired. A couple whom I only know as Tony and Joanny bought it. I had many wonderful memories there. The river on one side, the mountain on the other. I could tell you all kinds of stories about that place. I was hoping someone would re-open it.
Had my wedding reception at Riverside in 1969, the Doyles were wonderful...back then, the reception package included the meal, wedding cake and band...making it very easy for the bride and in 1994 we had our 25th anniversary party there.
Used to go there on Saturday evenings for dinner at least once every other month. Joannie and Tony were very friendly and made us feel like old friends. (back in the late 80's)
I use to go there long time ago with my Grandparents out to eat like during the holidays was fun. Only downside I remember was the place was too small, seats where crushed by other tables tight together, also for desert they always had Ice-Cream sandwiches instead of pies, etc like some places. It was always mostly the same meals, pasta, meat, salad, veggies. Nothing really new. The hallway line was freaking small, the outside line use to be packed on Sundays like 30 people in line. I think the train only sat maybe 20 people - don't remember. It's been years. Everytime We drive buy it - We say "why don't they tear the train down!"
Some trucker parking his trailers there all the time now like it's a transfer station. Surprised his loads don't get nicked sitting there.
So who really knows when it closed?
I lived very close by from 1990 to 2000 and don't remember it being open!
In the mid 80's we had returned to NJ and started going to restaurants based on the "full parking lot" theory. Wasn't like the paper reviewed any of the local fare. The train car did a brisk business then so we stopped in, had some "fresh" fish, got some pretty bad food poisoning, and never returned.
The next place with a full lot, we got Lobster Fra Diavolo and out comes a full lobster, in the shell, with spaghetti sauce on top. My FIL and I look at the plate, looked at each other, laughed really hard, and returned it to the kitchen asking them to please remove the shell first......
By this time we were making new friends and you can bet "what's good" was a top question.
Thank God for HL, our restaurant reviews, and the internet. Thank you Al Gore :>)
So what's the latest with this place, anyone know?
I used to go here with my girlfriend in the late 1980's We would sit for hours talking to the owner, he was a great guy.
I was there today and shot an Urbex video..pretty cool spot for sure,in real bad shape now,only a matter of time before its demolished,glad i got some shots so we can all remember it though.
Ive lived in liberty 20 plus years. "Dont try to guess my age". The riverside would b a destination for our family on mothers day. Its just sitting there being deterating. I wish someone would claim it.
Here is a picture of the place when it was still serving customers.
Does anyone know what happened to the dining car? Was it preserved? I can't find any information on where it went. Thanks. Geoff Bridgman
Here's a picture I took o the car 7 years go when we last visited there. This past weekend we went back and it was gone. It appears to have been moved recently, but I can't find any information on that.
Wow- was still there when I drove by a few months ago.
Would take quite a bit of work to move such an item without damage.
I am interested in hearing update.
I think its still there hidden by the trees
Yeah, I drove by a couple of weeks ago.. It was still there.. It’s covered with weeds.. You can hardly see it..
The place is in horrible shape people have vandalized the hell out of it between that and the weather. I’m surprised no one has tried to purchase the train car at least
It smelled of mildew when they were still operating.... i doubt, being on the river, there’s much left.
I think I saw it last time I drove by, about a month ago barely visible. It's being claimed by nature. I took this in 2015.
I passed it the other day. It's just in bad condition. I don't know if Joni and Tony still own it.
There are railroad history groups who would like to acquire and restore the Riverside Restaurant Pullman railroad car. The problem is that no one knows who owns the railroad car.Here is a picture of the Riverside before it got overgrown.
With all the above normal wet weather the last few years, the unchecked overgrowth has really accelerated and has literally consumed the structure and rail car. Sad state of affairs on that property.
Taken in 2013. It was as if it was just closed for the day. Don't know what happened to all the silverware and table settings.
Hi. I am Tony's nephew. They still live in FL. I'm not sure if they still own it. I can try to find out from his brother and sister (my dad and aunt) if anyone still has interest in knowing. I went there a few times when I was a kid-got to see the whole place, not just the dining areas. I drove by one back in 2009/10 when it was closed.
I am guessing the building/train are gone. On the water, not much sun, pretty wet. Even in their heyday, it was a dank place that just had to be tough to maintain. I think building roof is damaged, can't imagine that the train is not a mold encrusted tomb.
One of my few food poisonings was my first and last meal there in the second half of the 80's. It was the nail in the coffin of my "let's go there, the parking lot is full," theory for NJ restaurant selection. So, avoid the trout...….
I drove by it last weekend, it is further deteriorating as said above. The building is slowly falling apart, now I thought I saw some windows broken in the train car.
The overgrowth makes it hard to see much now, even in the dead of winter, branches and overgrowth hide most of it. Can't image who will be responsible to remove the train car someday, since it will require the size of crane and flatbed that was used to move the former Crossroads diner, not too far west of here.
Yes looks like kids are just vandalizing it. Sad to say, but it needs to go. You all will have the memories.
Same with the other building down the road going west on the East side of 46.
They already knocked down the back buildings.
Soon all that will remain is Hot Dog Johnny's.
From what we can tell it closed in 2006. There were calendars all over the place opened to 2006. We did an urbex video here last weekend! https://youtu.be/rk7VKF9Du18
The train car has been really vandalized which is a shame! She is still beautiful though! The building is very dangerous and the floor is falling in. We DID make our way in but had to proceed with caution. It must have been so amazing when it was open! We would love to see pictures of it when it was in operation if anyone has any! email@example.com
The video saddened me. My husband and I ate at the Riverside restaurant many times as well as the dining car. We had our wedding reception there in 1969 and our 25th anniversary party in 1994. We live in the area and have watched the property deteriorate through the years, but seeing the video of the damage inside was upsetting. I'm glad I have our wedding reception photos as a reminder of how nice the main room once was. Back in the day, it was a popular place for parties and weddings. The then owners included in their wedding reception package the food, wedding cake and band.
My husband and I enjoyed the Riverside several times and even went once on New Year's Eve. What fun with Tony and Joanie being the entertainment on New Year's Eve. Dessert was Ice Cream Sandwiches!! Yum!!
What a shame. Had several really dinners there for various events. It was a fun type place and the food was good as I remember. Ate in the Dining car a couple of times. Hate to see it like it is now. It should probably be removed before someone is injured exploring. It would be an attractive place for kids to get into.
Having gotten a dose there, much less on trout, every time this thread comes up......well, I guess that pretty much describes my feelings :>(
Then again, there was that time on Fisherman's Wharf just before the Redeye.....
Ah, fun times :>(
Wow great shot what a shame it just rotts and rotts away drove by it yesterday thinking the same. But looks like a rough spot with the river right there
It is sad to see that car just sit there and rot away. If enough people got together, it could run again. There are a few Tourist Railroads around where it could go and be brought back to it's former glory. I think the closest one is the Delaware River Railroad Excursions in Phillipsburg.
^^ you read my mind. I always look at the other side of he river and those old path tracks and think damn there is soo much history here. Imagine if someone with some $$$ could lay track buy a steam locomotive and just do rides on weekends from like hackettstown to phillsburg somewhere like they do in Lancaster wow.
There's not many tracks there now, so doubtful
And that car really looks beyond hope at this point. Sitting alongside river, windows shattered, it's in terrible shape.
Would be interesting to know how and why that particular dining car ended up there. Lots of information and photos on line about the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio RR. Also there is a historical society: http://gmohs.org/GMO_Railroad.htm
Great pic, can anyone elaborate as to the date of that photo?
I am a big fan of the Lehigh and Hudson River railroad, that used to go right behind the old Riverside Rest, right there on Rt.46, on the other side of the Pequest right behind the restaurant.
As we know, Conrail took over the LHR in 1976. The LHR tracks were in place until at least 1988 around our area. The railroad, locally, ran from Belvidere, through White Twsp, behind Hot Dog Johnny, through Buttzville, along the Pequest in Liberty and Great Meadows, taking a northern turn left in Great Meadows towards Allamuchy.
The only remaining trackage is a small piece in Great Meadows, visible right off Rt.46 as you come in going west right over the bridge that brings you into Great Meadows, right there on the left, basically across from Genes Automotive(which is season 22 episode 1 on American Pickers from last summers visit)
If anyone has pictures or remembrances of the LHR going through this area, that would be a great piece of history to have documented.
Several rail preservation groups have expressed an interest in the Riverside railroad dining car. The problem is that nobody knows who owns and has the the title to the railroad car. Another issue is that the railroad car was dropped while being set in position at the restaurant. Going way back to the 1970s when the car was obtained a railroad magazine writer named Mike Eagleson was involved in getting the car for the restaurant.Hopefully a way will be found for the car to be saved and possibly restored.Moving the car and restoring it will be difficult and expensive.
Last I remember is reading in a newspaper. The owner attempted to sell, accepted a down payment and used it to move to Fla. the sale wasn’t completed, and the down payment forfeited. The article stated owner was now (several years, maybe a decade ago now) in Fla with not enough money for planned retirement.
Some of you are sleuths, more info should be out there, I’ve had no luck.
The Rhyme Animal, Every Lehigh & Hudson Railroad Railroad fan needs this hat. The L&HR ran from Warwick NY to Belvidere NJ. The railroad had trackage rights into the Lehigh Valley. The tracks from Sparta Junction to Belvidere were removed in 1986.
I know the train that runs out of Phillipsburg would like to have the car to restore and use if they cold get it or if a group could get it and would want to donate it!
I received an e-mail recently from the previous owners nephew informing me that Tony passed recently. I don't know any details.
Very interesting video, thanks for the link. The comments also do shed some light on the history and even have a couple of pics of the train car being put into place. The inside belies the outside of the building. Looks bad from the highway, but inside the structure is pretty much rotting and falling down. It is too bad people have smashed the windows out in the train car. That damage is relatively new, within the last few years, but I guess like anything abandoned, eventually deviant minds will seek out and destroy.
The guy that did the video was in violation of trespassing and if he got hurt, could have been on the hook for some big fines. But all at the same time, glad there are people willing to take that risk and go in- Seems just about no chance that train car is moved due to the cost of moving it unless the state gives a grant to get it moved.
I guess at some point it becomes condemned property and someone will be responsible for the removal of it.
Trains all boarded up now. I assume someone claims stewardship of it or the town is being proactive before trespassers get hurt or it burns.
I am buyig the car. also im the one who boarded it up. A departure is coming soon as it cant stay where it is.
Pls Johnm when you do purchase provide some details for those of us interested. Especially the how and when it is to be moved. Thx.
If anyone wants to volunteer to help prep for the move send me an email. i will be doing brush cutting soon also laying rail and cutting away the building to get the car out.
Lehigh Valley Rail Leasing LLC
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