A piece of land on Blackwood-Clementon Rd. in Gloucester Township is being developed and will soon be home to something new. But it won't be nearly as fun as what was there before.

Ah, East Side Mario's. If you know, you know. Yeah, it was an Italian restaurant where all the servers yelled 'Taxi!' as they moved food from the kitchen to the tables, but it was so much more than that for the regulars.

The food was always excellent, as was the service, and it had a kick-ass bar where, yes, 'everybody knows your name'. And, remember the replica of the Statue of Liberty holding a tomato instead of a torch? Lol. Mangia!

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It's bittersweet for me to write about East Side, because I actually had a few pivotal life moments happen there. I had a bad breakup there, I fell in love there, I made new friends there. It became like a second home to so many of me and my friends.

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It was where we went every Sunday afternoon and Monday night to watch football. Where we pregamed on Friday and Saturday before heading to the clubs. We went for trivia, for music, and for the bartenders who got to know us as well as we got to know them.

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After closing for good, East Side Mario's was torn down, its empty lot sitting vacant for years and years.

But now its site (between Rite-Aid and Filomena's) has been sold. There's already fencing up around the land, and soon it will be developed, according to 42freeway.com, into a BURGER KING!

Yep, ESM will now be a BK. From Mario to King. Yes, yes, there's already a Burger King just up the road, but that apparently that store will close and move to where East Side used to be.

No offense to Burger King, but suffice to say I won't be spending nearly as much time there as I once did at East Side. And, I won't forget the good times.

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