Years After Fire, East Orange’s Harris Diner Could be Replaced with Produce Store

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21 North Park Street East Orange Nj
Site of proposed development: the former Harris Diner destroyed by fire at 21 North Park Street in East Orange, N.J. Photo via Google Maps/Street View.

More than six years after a fire destroyed a restaurant that was a landmark in East Orange for decades, plans have emerged for a redevelopment of the property.


The building at 21 North Park Street that used to be home to the Harris Diner could be torn down and replaced with a two-story commercial building should a new proposal by JSB 21, LLC come to fruition.

The company is seeking preliminary and final site plan approval with variances from the East Orange Planning Board in connection with the project, which would bring a 4,200-square-foot “retail produce store” to the premises, according to a notice of hearing.

The notice says that the store, the name of which is not yet known, would sell “canned and frozen foods; fresh fruits and vegetables; packaged meats, fish and poultry, and other specialty foods.”

A virtual hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, December 1, at 7:00 p.m.

Located near the Orange city limit, the Harris Diner opened in 1945, according to NJ Advance Media. In 2015, a fire ripped through the building, making the interior of the diner unusable. Although the structure has continued to stand, it has remained vacant since the flames were extinguished.

Note to readers: The dates that applications are scheduled to be heard by the East Orange Planning Board and other commissions are subject to change.

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