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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dinner for 10 Bits

I got to lamenting, with Jackie, the other day about the lack of good restaurants in our area. When we first moved to New Gretna in the early 1970's, we were pleased that the New Gretna House was just down the street from our North Maple Avenue home. While we didn't dine out often, it was a great place to go. The food was good, the prices were reasonable, and they had the only salad bar, the forerunner to today's elaborate buffets, in the area which attracted people from miles around.

The New Gretna House had the only salad bar in the area when we moved to New Gretna in the early 1970's. (March 20, 1975 Tuckerton Beacon ad.)

I thought that $6.25 for diner was a bargain, until I came across a December 18, 1949 ad  which announced that the New Gretna House was under new management and advertised dinners starting at $1.25. Unbelievable! That's about what I pay for a cup of coffee at WaWa, today.

Tuckerton Beacon ad - December 18, 1949

And, just who was Matty Marino, the new proprietor? That name sure doesn't ring a bell with me. My guess is that he doesn't come from an old New Gretna family.

Here's an old post card of the New Gretna House around the time of the ad. I bet it brings back some fond memories for many out there who celebrated special occasions there or who just stopped in once in a while for a good meal.

New Gretna House, circa 1940's. 

Sadly, all that exists of the New Gretna House today is a dilapidated sign that stands in the crumbling parking lot.

The fading sign is the only evidence that the once proud New Gretna House stood at the corner of North Maple Avenue and Route 9. (January 24, 2009 photo by Pete Stemmer.)

Perhaps, all of us who remember the glory days of the New Gretna House can meet one warm spring afternoon, have a picnic lunch, reminisce, and share stories over one last meal under the shadow of the old New Gretna House sign. Care to join me?

Pete S


  1. I yhink Marino bought the New Gretna House from Ann klaus. Dave Kalm

  2. Our tradition for many years was to go to the New Gretna House on the Friday nights before opening day duck hunting. I remember many wonderful dinners there, enjoying the sumptuous salad bar and their Carolina Mixed Grill. And after hunting, playing darts at the (now boarded up) bar across the street.