Historic Havens: Monmouth County Historic Eateries

May 26, 2023 By Lori Draz

Tasty traditions abound in our area. Monmouth County has been home to some iconic eateries, many of which are thriving gems serving up memories of a bygone era.

Nothing is more Jersey than a diner, and so we begin this tour with two great ones in Red Bank. Our first is Toast, a grand old girl on Monmouth Street. Amy Russo, founder and owner of Toast, has this location in her blood. Before it became Toast, it spent 18 years as the Broadway Diner, owned and operated by Russo’s father, Bob Russo. The actual history dates back to the 1940s when it was brought in as a boxcar diner called the Palace Diner. According to Atlas Obscura, the credit for creating the polished diner image was a lunch wagon manufacturer named Patrick Tierney. These were train cars created to mimic that streamlined look. Some even had wheels.