My earliest memory of Kings Restaurant was when they were on Lyons Ave. and Hobson Street in 1994. It used to literally fit ten people in there and it stayed packed. I used to eat breakfast and lunch there everyday!
When they shut down I was hurt, [but] they opened a new, bigger store two blocks up the street. At the time it was around 1998 and I was working for Verizon, and me and all the guys from the garage used to eat breakfast there every morning.
During those years, I got real cool with the owner, Younis. Younis left the Lyons Avenue location and ventured off to his own spot on Clinton Ave. I am a loyal person, so I followed Younis to his new location. I still occasionally go by the old Kings on Lyons Ave., but it doesn’t feel like the one on Clinton Ave. with Younis.
Last year, I was having a horrible week, and I went to Kings to treat myself to a big breakfast. When I went to go pay, someone had paid for my meal. That touched my heart, and made me feel like Kings has been my good luck charm (laughs).
I love everything about Newark, but if there is one place you can always catch me at, it is Kings on Clinton Ave., sitting at the counter or the booth in the corner, reading. I haven’t figured out which is going to be my favorite spot to sit, the booth or the counter, so for now I fluctuate.
The photo shoot brought back a memory: as I was sitting at the counter [I thought about] how much things changed. I was looking at the counter thinking, “Wow, the whole store wasn’t as long as the new counter when I first started coming here.” I also was thinking when I first started coming to Kings, I was young and single, and over the years, it became a spot I would bring my whole family to.
I always feel like Norm from Cheers when I walk in, also (laughs).
Hassan Abdus-Sabur is a Newark native and community engagement specialist for the Newark Public Schools’ After Schools Program.