P . 24 | FEBRUARY 2023 | THE HAMMONTONIAN
Everybody welcome at Silver Coin Diner
by JOSEPH F . BERENATO
If one is in the mood for Italian food , there is no short supply of restaurants to satisfy that craving in the town of Hammonton . The same goes for Mexican and Chinese cuisine . For a little bit of everything , though , there ’ s only one way to go : a diner .
In Hammonton , that translates to the Silver Coin Diner .
“ Maybe one part of your family
wants eggs at night , somebody wants a steak and somebody wants a burger . We have everything here , and that ’ s why people come here ,” said manager and co-owner Chris Tzaferos .
The Silver Coin Diner first opened in 1981 , under the ownership Tzaferos ’ s cousins : George Tzaferos and his brother , the late Konstantinos “ Gus ” Tzaferos . Since that time , George Tzaferos said , the Silver Coin Diner has been referred to by several periodicals throughout the region as “ the place to see and be seen in the town of Hammonton .”
“ Being a place in the center of town , accommodating everybody ? I think we ’ ve lived up to that tradition ,” he said .
Chris Tzaferos said that the diner ’ s reputation extends beyond town borders throughout the region .
“ This is the halfway point between Atlantic City and Philadelphia . People come down from New York to go to the shore and they stop here . It ’ s a hub . It ’ s the hub of Atlantic County ,” he said .
MANAGER NICKY PRATT , OWNER / MANAGER CHRIS TZAFEROS AND OWNER GEORGE TZAFEROS OF THE SILVER COIN DINER .
Chris Tzaferos said that one of the draws of the Silver Coin Diner — and of diners in general — is that it provides more of a personal experience than other types of restaurants .
“ You always see somebody you know . It ’ s like Cheers ; you walk into Cheers , and you know everybody there . A lot of the servers , when people walk in they know their order . Their stuff is on the table already when they come in , and people appreciate that ,” he said .
The Silver Coin Diner has seen its share of a wide variety of food servers over the years , Chris Tzaferos said .
“ We ’ ve had very loud ones . Very quiet ones . People that pick it up right away . People who have waitressed their whole lives ,” he said .
Chris Tzaferos said that , many times , the waitress is part of the diner ’ s appeal .
“ You ’ ve basically built a relationship with that waitress , and you ’ re coming for entertainment . You go some places , and they ’ re basically reading a script to you . You have nothing with that waitress . Here , you ’ re usually getting the same one , and a lot of the people who come in request a specific waitress . They ’ re used to that waitress , knowing them , their whole family sometimes , their business ,” Chris Tzaferos said .
George Tzaferos said that the longevity of the diner ’ s employees has contributed to its reputation in the region .
“ We have quite a few workers who have been with us for many years . The guys in the kitchen , they used to
work next to me . So they know how things have to be done . They learned that way , and they ’ ve been here 30- plus years ,” he said .
In order to remain relevant , the Silver Coin Diner has undergone a number of changes over the years .
“ To be able to keep up with the competition , we ’ ve renovated the place three or four times since 1981 ,” George Tzaferos said .
Chris Tzaferos said that those changes have also extended to the menu from time to time , with varying degrees of success .
“ You look at trends . You look at what ’ s popular right now . A lot of the things that are still on the menu , sell . You think something doesn ’ t sell and you try to take it off , and the minute
See DINER , P . 29
SALINA JULIA SERVES UP BREAKFAST .