NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - It’s been a long 140 days or so since the Big Shutdown in March, and although there have been glimmers of hope and humanity peppered throughout these months, many of us are longing for a reprieve from the pandemic monotony and our normal routines.

If part of your regular routine was to head to the Prestige Diner to meet family and friends for a dose of home cooking, then good news, New Providence--after months of rebuilding after their basement fire, Prestige Diner has reopened.  

“The outpouring of support while we were rebuilding after the fire was incredible and really kept us going. We are so excited to be back to serve our neighbors and friends—we missed them so much,” said Harry Vardas.

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Harry and Jimmy Vardas doubled their existing outdoor patio to ample outside seating with jumbo market umbrellas to keep cool and dry, with socially distanced tables, boosted wi-fi service, vertical gardens, ambient lighting and along with all the Prestige favorite dishes, a new happy hour menu offered from 3-6.

“Times are strange and it's difficult for people to get together with friends and family because of the pandemic restrictions, so if we can offer a safe gathering place for them to have some cocktails and a bite to eat while they catch up, we’re thrilled to do it—either for happy hour or any other time,” said Jimmy Vardas.

During their closure, the Vardas brothers spent countless hours researching new technology to help keep their customers safe while dining with them during COVID-19. In addition to taking temp of all employees before they start work, certifying all staff with ServSafe food handling, and staff wearing face shields and/or face masks at all times, they adopted a new system, Pathspot, into their protocols. After each mandatory staff hand-washing every half hour, Pathspot’s hand scanner gives real-time feedback on the quality of the hand-wash to ensure effectiveness.

And in development is contactless ordering and payment options. To say the Vardas brothers are serious about their customer’s safety is an understatement.

“This year has been tough on a lot of our customers and we’re so happy to be back and want our customers to feel comfortable and enjoy a little dose of normalcy when they return to Prestige,” said Harry Vardas.

Prestige Diner is open 7am-10pm daily and til 11pm Friday and Saturday for patio dining or take out, with delivery available 5-10pm daily. Orders can be placed via phone (908) 665-0211 and soon online ordering will return via their website: prestigediner.com

Captions (Inspiration wall): Prestige invites residents to add their favorite inspiration quote to their Wall to help keep spirits up. 

(Pathspot): Hand scanner technology ensures effective hand-washing for all staff