Welcome To CJ's: Lacey's Lakeside Diner Gets New Owners, Makeover

LACEY, NJ — A new restaurant has taken over an old location, and it’s a true family affair.

CJ’s, formerly Lakeside Diner, recently opened its doors in Forked River, and owner Christian Robinson is eager to make connections with the community.

Robinson and his wife, Nicole, have a combined 15 years of restaurant experience. It was always his dream to open his own small restaurant, he told Patch.

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“I’m always in the kitchen coming up with new concoctions for my wife and kids to try so when this opportunity presented itself, I could not pass it up!” Robinson said.

The name was inspired by their oldest son (Christian Junior) and Robinson says diners will often see the 5-year-old and their other two children, Nolan (2) and Archie (four months) around the restaurant.

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CJ’s is a departure from Lakeside Diner, which was perhaps infamous for its actions during the pandemic. Robinson said he has no affiliation with the previous owner, but wishes him well. And now, there are “so many changes to come,” he said.

It starts with a new menu, debuting on June 12. Redecorating is already ongoing, with new paint colors. Robinson is even hand-making new booths – a common complaint at the restaurant.

They also hope to offer dinners a few times a week and implement a delivery option.

But what Robinson is most looking forward to is creating relationships with his customers, both new and returning.

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“We always want our customers to feel like they can come to us with any questions, ideas, concerns, and we will listen,” Robinson said.

CJ’s is located 429 Lacey Rd. You can call them at 609-971-2627. Check CJ’s out on Facebookand Instagram.

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