Peggy Porfiris & Grand Daughter Alexis Marie
The Prestige Diner: A New Providence
Institution Steps Up to the Plate in Tough
Economic Times and Delivers a Homerun

By Michael M. Shapiro

On Saturday, March 7th, the Prestige Diner in
New Providence opened its doors as it has done
for thirty years. But this day was different.
It was special. On this day, the family-owned
institution in New Providence, welcomed
customers to its beautifully renovated diner. Not only
has the look and feel of the diner gotten an extreme
makeover, but so has the diner’s menu, much to the
delight of patrons. On hand for the occasion were
Jimmy and Harry Vardas, brothers and co-owners of
the Prestige.

Jimmy Vardas told The Alternative Press that the diner needed a makeover and renovation. He said they had seen what the Borough of New Providence had done in investing in the Streetscape project which has created beautiful paver sidewalks, benches and lanterns throughout downtown New Providence, and decided to "contribute and do our share in upgrading the image of New Providence."

A warm feeling inside and a welcoming atmosphere greets customers at the new Prestige Diner. A fireplace and handicapped lift have been installed as well as three flat screen televisions. All 30 employees have stayed on and are very happy to be working in the new environment. Meanwhile, the menu has also received a makeover. It now includes organic salads, fresh fish, espresso and baking that is done on the premises every day. Harry Vardas said, "we offer a clean environment, good and affordable food with smiling service."

While economic times are tough, the Prestige Diner is thriving. "We’re busy," said Jimmy Vardas, adding, "Thank God, we are busy beyond any expectation. Now, we’re trying to maintain this positive momentum." "We’ve had a great response. The renovation has been very well received," he said.

The Prestige Diner is more than a diner; it is a New Providence Institution. Jimmy Vardas said, "we’re all about being part of the community." He concluded, "We want to express our deepest thanks to the Mayor, Council, Planning Board, and, of course, the engineering and building departments. And to our customers, thank you for being patient, and, welcome back!"

The Prestige is open 6 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday and from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Photo above: Peggy Porfiris with her granddaughter, Alexis Marie, in front of the new fireplace at the Prestige Diner in New Providence.

Photo by Michael Shapiro