TOMS RIVER, NJ – One of Toms River’s longtime niche restaurants has closed down, Joe-Joe’s Italian Hot Dogs. The restaurant closed last January and has been closed since with glimmers of hope for a reopening now that the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided. Periodic updates were posted throughout the past year prolonging the closure.
But this week, a post on the company’s Facebook page was final.
“Hello everyone! Joe Joe’s Italian Hot Dogs is permanently closed. Thank you all for your continued patronage throughout the years! We appreciate all the kind words! Have a great day and stay safe,” Jo-Joe’s said.
As a kid growing up in Toms River with a family from the Newark area, I remember Joe-Joe’s making a huge splash when they opened. The hook was the fresh Calandra’s bread, made right here in New Jersey…Newark to be exact. If you’ve never been to Calandra’s bakery in Newark, it should definitely be one of your New Jersey bucket list items.
As a Toms River kid, we had no idea what Italian Hot Dogs were until Joe-Joe’s came. Now, you can find cheap knock-offs at almost any pizzeria, but none compared to the real deal on a warm Calandra’s roll. For us, going to Joe-Joe’s was a treat similar to going to the also vanished Stewart’s Hot Dogs just a bit further east.
Who remembers Nick’s Italian restaurant across the street from where Joe-Joe’s is? It has not been made official why Joe-Joe’s closed.