Diner near Kean campus closes

UNION, NJ — The popular University Diner, which has served as a local landmark for the past several decades on North Ave in Union, closed for good last month.

The diner’s current owners, Union resident Maurice Quijano and his father — who bought the property, together, in December of 2014 — are looking to sell the property and its building, which Quijano said could be well-suited for someone who wants to open a restaurant.

What Quijano will miss most going forward, he said, are the people who defined his time at University Diner, which is located about half a mile away from the main campus at Kean University. To his knowledge, the diner had been open going back more than 20 years.

“I enjoyed the people,” said Maurice. “The customers who were there, the customers that we had, they were all great. The staff that we had, I really appreciated. The people were great. The employees, the customers. We’re grateful for those that were there every day, who were faithful.”

University Diner was a popular place to eat for Kean students and staff. Over the years, it also made the news on several occasions.

Most notably, in 2009, an Elizabeth man survived a gunshot wound when he stumbled from Ursino Park — which is hundreds of yards and two intersections away — to the doors of the diner, dripping blood the entire way. After he made it into the building and collapsed, around 5:45 a.m., the man was transported to a nearby hospital and recovered.