Has local favorite, Michael's Diner, on Route 1 in Lawrence, closed its doors for good? It appears that way, according to a local Facebook Group and my own investigation.

I drive past Michael's Diner all the time and there are no signs of life at the once bustling restaurant. No matter what time of day is was, it always had a crowd, but, not anymore. At a time when most other local restaurants are offering trying to get as much business as they can by offering take out food and curbside pickup, Michael's remains closed.

In the Lawrence Township NJ community Facebook group, a resident asked if anyone knew if Michael's was doing take out or if they were closed. Another resident commented that they were closed permanently. He said he had been served by one of the Michael's wait staff recently at a different diner, and she had informed him of the closure.

The conversation continued with someone blaming New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy for the restaurant's fate, and someone quickly commented that wasn't the case, the restaurant had been losing business over the past couple of years.

I called Michael's several times, over the course of a few hours, and the phone seems to be off the hook.

Many locals were disappointed by the news, saying it was one of their favorite places in the area. It will be interesting to see what happens to that space, in the high traffic area. Will it become another restaurant? I hope so. It's convenient. I really hope it doesn't stay vacant and become an eyesore like so other places in the area these days.

A sure sign of the times. Sad.