Following last week’s announcement that they were shutting down the Mastoris Diner and Restaurant due in part to the economic hardships that stemmed from the coronavirus pandemic, the Foggia Restaurant Group LLC, appears to have a plan in place to remake the legendary diner into an upscale restaurant.
Clyde Gilfillan of JCG3 Development, Inc., who is the consultant for the investor group that owns the Mastoris Diner, said in an exclusive interview with centraljersey.com that the plan is to remodel the diner into an Italian restaurant under a new name – Ristorante Lucca & Piano Lounge.
The plan, according to Gilfillan, will be to renovate the entire building and outdoor terrace with new equipment to create a new establishment by the end of this summer.
“It’s going to be spectacular,” Gilfillan said.
The plans include remodeling the banquet hall and large parking lot on the property to create a new venue space attached to the restaurant that people can use for weddings, parties and other special events.
All these changes will usher in new opportunities for the Bordentown community in many different areas, Gilfillan said.
“We want to be a great addition to the greater Bordentown area,” Gilfillan said. “It’s going to bring new jobs to the area. We want to build a new legacy and be proud of what we offer.”
The Foggia Restaurant Group, LLC, is owned by David Navazio and Fredric Brotz. Navazio is the founder of Gentell, Inc., a company that offers new product development and innovative cost-containment (capitation) programs for hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies in wound care.
Brotz was president and CEO of Gentell, Inc. for 23 years but recently retired.
Navazio officially gained control of Mastoris after buying out Nick Mastoris in July 2020 after the two had a falling out, Nick Mastoris said.
He was the last member of the Mastoris family to have a share of the legendary diner that was founded by his grandparents, Nick and Mary Mastoris, in 1970.
Nick Mastoris and his son Alexander own and operate Nikos Restaurant in Yardley, Pennsylvania. His father, Alex Mastoris, is the owner of Rocco’s at the Brick in Newtown, Pennsylvania.
Alex Mastoris sold his share of the diner and left Mastoris seven years ago.
Both Alex and Nick said they were disappointed when they heard the news that Mastoris was shut down last week.
“I learned what I know from there,” Nick Mastoris said. “It’s horrible.”
It was the pandemic that ultimately caused the decision to shut down Mastoris, but recent declines in sales by the diner were also a factor in closing down the legendary establishment, Gilfillan said.
He added that Mastoris had seen a decline in sales for years, and that the diner industry as a whole has not generated much business for a while, resulting in the Foggia Restaurant Group, LLC, to go in a different direction and make the diner into a whole new restaurant.
No matter what becomes of the legendary diner that is located at the crossroads of Route 130 and Route 206, the Bordentown community will always remember the Mastoris name and the legacy it had of being one of the best diners in all of New Jersey.
“It will always be remembered in Bordentown as the Old Mastoris,” said Bordentown City Committeeman James Lynch. “It’s a little piece of history in our community. It mattered a lot to the community and was a great place to bring the family.”