IN March of 1977, twelve years after migrating across the Atlantic from their native Greece to the United States, Nick and Peter Dedes would make the most important decision of their lives.
After over a decade of endless hours of hard work and sleepless nights, the brothers were ready to take a chance on long-term stability, plunking down their savings on a small eatery on Route 22, known then as the Parkway Diner.
It was Phase-One of their American Dream.
Today, more than 40 years after making their trans-Atlantic journey from their tiny hometown village of Domvraina (Δομβραίνα), the fruits of their labor are on full display.
The Union Plaza Diner is the symbol of longevity, and has become a household name in its community.
Located on the center isle of Route 22 in Union, NJ, it remains one of the most popular and successful restaurants in the entire state of New Jersey. Since its birth, it has survived the test of time in one of the most competitive restaurant regions in the state.
Best of all, Nick and Peter have done it the old-fashioned way: with tireless hard work, and an unmatched desire for customer satisfaction.
While other local food stops have become obsolete with the same old diner food, and the same old diner approach, the Union Plaza Diner has managed to reinvent itself time after time.
Twice, the UPD has undergone major renovation — the last of which occurred during the winter of 1995. Upon completion, capacity had been doubled from its original size of one hundred seats, while the diner’s layout had been completely revamped and remodeled to its current style.
A full-service bar now welcomes patrons upon entrance through the front revolving-doors. The dining room has become much more comfortable and spacious. And the kitchen — where the true magic happens — has been greatly expanded and updated.
In addition, Nick and Peter have enhanced the ambience with a totally inviting décor, highlighted by a serene 200-gallon saltwater fish tank inhabited by exotic fish and live coral, warm wood trimmings and tiffany lamps, as well as exquisite antique memorabilia and model planes that adorn the restaurant.
Even our children patrons are entertained, captivated daily by the UPD’s hand-crafted train that circles high above the bar, day and night.
As with any eatery, however, the true measure of quality centers on its fare. And at the Union Plaza Diner, Nick and Peter Dedes have built their business on this very concept.
After countless food upgrades and alterations through the years, the UPD boasts arguably the most extensive and versatile menu in New Jersey. With traditional dishes from virtually every major cuisine in the world, there is — literally — something here for everyone.
With baking done on the premises daily, our fresh desserts are sure to send you off satisfied and smiling.
So come see what everyone has been talking about all these years. See for yourself what makes our friendly place a must-stop for all visitors of New Jersey.
The Union Plaza Diner is truly a dining experience like no other.
With a lifelong commitment to excellence, your hosts, Nick and Peter have worked long and hard to ensure just that.
* Located 90 minutes west of Athens, along Greece’s southern coastline.