Home Essex CountyCedar Grove Pilgrim Diner in Cedar Grove to Reopen This Summer

Pilgrim Diner in Cedar Grove to Reopen This Summer

by Kristina Helfer
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Locals will be thrilled to know that Cedar Grove’s only diner, the Pilgrim Diner, is set to reopen next month in July, after being closed since the late spring/early summer of 2019. Read on to learn more about the Pilgrim Diner’s long-awaited reopening in Cedar Grove.

the pilgrim diner

History of the Pilgrim Diner

The Pilgrim Diner was originally opened in 1965 and has been a family favorite in the area for generations. The diner was managed for many years by a husband and wife team. The owners of the diner later decided to sell the restaurant and it was purchased by its newest owners in spring/summer of 2020.

The Ivy at Chatham

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About the New Owner

The diner was purchased by Frank Kunis, Guy Bessas, et al. who also own the Mark Twain Diner in Union, New Jersey. Similar to the Pilgrim Diner, The Mark Twain Diner has been open on Route 22 since 1960. There are hundreds of diners in New Jersey and many of them have become historical landmarks, serving generations of families.

What’s New


After permits were obtained and approved, renovations began on December 15, 2020, in the Pilgrim Diner. The owners and their team have been working hard to get the Pilgrim’s doors back open. They expect to be able to serve its hungry patrons around July 2021. 

The diner has gotten a serious facelift after being stripped down during its renovation. Everything from the bathrooms, to seating, floors, and kitchen workstations are all brand new. 

The owners have decided to keep the name and some pieces of its past, such as its beautiful wood paneling and molding, and the brass door handles in the entryway. While the owners have preserved its classic charm, they are excited to reintroduce the Pilgrim to the area. The Pilgrim Diner will seat approximately 200 guests and will be one of the largest restaurants in the area. 


The menu will be different from the Pilgrim’s original but will still feature all the diner classics New Jerseyans know and love like fluffy pancakes, delicious omelets, and sky-high stacked sandwiches. If it is anything like the Mark Twain Diner’s menu, we can expect big portions and tons of options to make sure every guest can find something tasty. Unlike the Mark Twain Diner, the Pilgrim Diner will not have a liquor license.

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The Pandemic Effect

Since the pandemic’s start, the Mark Twain Diner has usedUber Eats, GrubHub, Doordash, and direct takeout to continue to safely serve its patrons. The owners have not announced how the Pilgrim Diner will be handling takeout and/or delivery. 

We look forward to welcoming the Pilgrim Diner and its new owners into Cedar Grove and enjoying the ultimate Sunday breakfast with them as the cherry on top of our weekends.

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