Tick Tock Diner Unveils Sparkling Redesign and New Menu

Remodeled exterior features new neon lights and a parapet wall

A new executive chef, a modernized menu, and a redesigned interior and exterior highlight the reopening of the Tick Tock Diner, the nationally acclaimed eatery located at 281 Allwood Road (and Route 3 West), Clifton.

The diner’s redesign, a 10-week project, began in September. The Tick Tock, which will remain a 24-hour diner, opened its doors to customers just prior toThanksgiving and finalized its new menu on December 2.

A New Chef 

Executive Chef Stephen Whiteman

The Tick Tock’s managers introduced Stephen Whiteman as the diner’s executive chef. Whiteman has revamped the menu with new dishes while preserving and enhancing classic diner favorites. Whiteman’s resume includes positions at the Black River Barn, in Randolph; the Fairmount Country Club, in Chatham; Essex County Country Club, in West Orange; and the renowned Ryland Inn, in Whitehouse Station. Whiteman grew up in Morris County and attended Hudson County Community College’s Culinary Arts Institute.

Your Diner Favorites and More

Avocado and egg toast

Diner standards such as egg platters, pancakes, waffles, sandwiches, soups, burgers, disco fries, and milkshakes “are still available around the clock,” but customers will enjoy exploring new menu items such as seasonal salads and bowls, pan-roasted, free-range chicken, slow-cooked meats, and fresh fish, according to information provided by MST Creative PR, New York, the diner’s communications representative.

Sea scallops

One eye-catching “celebrity” item on the new menu is the Mick Jagger sandwich (Taylor ham/pork roll, two fried eggs, and American cheese on a brioche bun served with disco fries), named in honor of the iconic rock star and leader of the Rolling Stones, who—according to a number of news reports—visited the diner on August 1.

Delancey Street frittata

Other selections include the Delancey Street frittata (smoked salmon novie, caramelized onions with avocado toast, served in an iron skillet); lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry compote and whipped cream cheese frosting; braised short rib tacos; a greens, grains and garden bowl; a shrimp and avocado bowl; and sea scallops with cauliflower puree, string beans, pomegranate seeds and lemon butter sauce. The menu also has a number of vegetarian and vegan options, including Beyond meatless burgers and sausages.

Greens, grains and garden bowl

The diner’s expanded coffee offerings feature cold brew, nitro cold brew and French press coffee made with beans from the local roaster Lacas Coffee Co. Desserts include house-baked pies and cakes, rice pudding and tiramisu. There is also a full bar offering beer, wine, and cocktails.

Colorful cakes

Renovation Details 

Architect Richard Bloch of New York has revamped the diner’s design. Bloch has led design projects on over 200 restaurants. The Tick Tock’s exterior has a new parapet wall, which upgrades the diner’s appearance as a glistening roadside attraction.

All-new interior design

As detailed by MST Creative, the Tick Tock’s stylish new interior “bridges the Art Deco diner style of the past with the more stylish ambiance of restaurants today. Each of the two rooms has its own identity—the front room now has a larger bar moved to the opposite side doubling as a dining counter and cozy bright red booths, while the main room has a new white terrazzo floor, as well as a new ceiling with Art Deco-reminiscent design elements plus all-new furnishings: colorful block-patterned banquettes and black walnut tables.” Though unseen by customers, the Tick Tock’s kitchen has all-new equipment.

Cocktail bar and counter

The remodeled Tick Tock—a modular, prefabricated, factory-built structure manufactured by Kullman Industries Inc.—opened on June 1, 1994. There have been two previous generations of Tick Tocks, produced by two other diner builders, both of which were installed on the same site as the current eatery.

As reported here on November 27, the Tick Tock is one of several landmark diners throughout the Garden State that has undergone major renovation work during the last two years; a “season of renewal” for the diner business and New Jersey’s built landscape.

Tick Tock Diner
281 Allwood Rd. (Route 3 Westbound)
Clifton, NJ 07012