First, some sad news: Stewart's Root-Beer of Hazlet is closing.
The first Stewart's Root-Beer in America opened in 1924. Its current owner in Hazlet Township, Jeff DeBlasio, has been serving the Jersey Shore for 11 years.
For nearly a century, the franchise served classic American fast food, with root-beer floats and hot dogs topping the menu.
A newer, pretty popular 21st-Century favorite has been "vegan pizza," according to the Hazlet eatery's diehards.
A glimmer of good news is that the popular Monmouth County joint at 274 Route 36 will be open a few more days.
Permanent closure is set for Tuesday -- the day after Labor Day, DeBlasio announced here on Facebook.
Past business was bolstered by visitors to Keansburg Amusement Park, Runaway Rapids Waterpark and Keyport Waterfront Park, among other Jersey Shore attractions.
DeBlasio was not immediately available to talk, but his social media posts already attracted numerous replies expressing sadness, praise and well-wishes for the future.
(And thanks for adding vegan pizza to the traditional fare.)
New Jersey and national restrictions on dining and travel due to coronavirus no doubt had a major impact on sales.
"It’s a sad time as I have been here almost 11 years," the owner posted here on Stewart's Facebook page. "We have served our community well and unfortunately it’s time to move on. I hope everyone gets a chance to come in one more time before we close."
"We will be selling all equipment and left over products if anyone is interested or knows anyone please have them contact Jeff DeBlasio."
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