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RJ's American Diner in Ashford's Bank Street closes after move from Longacres Bybrook Barn


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A US diner has closed after less than two years in Ashford town centre.

Staff at RJ's American Diner in Bank Street have whitewashed the windows and are no longer taking Deliveroo orders.

Owner MDM 'Royal' Karim with staff at the opening of RJ's Diner last year
Owner MDM 'Royal' Karim with staff at the opening of RJ's Diner last year

The site was the successor to one located at Longacres Bybrook Barn in Kennington, where a genuine 1940s diner from the States was based for 20 years.

But after bosses were told to move from the site in August 2018, a new home could not be found for the mobile restaurant and it was sold off to a Wiltshire enthusiast hoping to operate it himself.

It was moved to Wiltshire just a week after its former owner opened RJ's in Bank Street in February 2019.

One of the largest draws was the eatery's food challenges, including an eight-stack burger with each layer having a different topping on top.

However they didn't prove to be as big of an attraction as hoped and, coupled with the pandemic, RJ's now lies dormant with whitewashed windows.

RJ's American Diner now has whitewashed windows and is not accepting orders on Deliveroo
RJ's American Diner now has whitewashed windows and is not accepting orders on Deliveroo

On TripAdvisor, the diner has only 1.5 stars and sits at the 110th position out of 110 restaurants in Ashford.

One of the common gripes was that the food was overpriced.

One item on its menu called the '5th Avenue sandwich' contained sausage, bacon, grilled onions and cheese. With fries or salad, that cost £8.99.

Fries by themselves were priced at £3.99 on the Deliveroo website.

But while one diner closes, another is set to open elsewhere in the town, although work is yet to start on the site.

The original diner had all the original fittings and decor
The original diner had all the original fittings and decor
The former American Diner at its home in Longacres' Bybrook Barn location
The former American Diner at its home in Longacres' Bybrook Barn location

Unrelated to RJ's, an American diner was approved for an empty shop in Kennington on Faversham Road.

Permission was granted despite concerns voiced by nearby residents regarding parking and possible odours.

KentOnline has contacted RJ's, but is yet to receive a response.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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