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Empire Diner Brooklawn Sold! New Owners – Swedesboro Diner

Empire Diner Brooklawn Sold!  New Owners – Swedesboro Diner
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After several years of successfully operating the Empire Diner in Brooklawn NJ, today (former) Empire Diner owner Dervis “D” Akturk announced on Facebook that he sold the beloved restaurant!

The new owners of the diner (which is located at the Brooklawn Circle), are the same group who own the Swedesboro Diner.

The Empire Diner in Brooklawn NJ has new owners… (former) owner Dervis announced the diner was sold to the owners of the Swedesboro Diner!

Dervis confirmed to me this afternoon that the settlement took place at 11am, and the property has officially changed hands.

This is “breaking news” so I don’t have a ton of details, but a name change is likely to come for the diner as well as some other upgrades. But it appears that the diner will remain open during the ownership transition.

For “D”, he will retain ownership of the nearby Empire Sports Bar in Brooklawn (previously known as Clancy’s Brooklawn).

The Empire Sports Bar which is also in Brooklkawn, will remain with owner Dervis. He only sold the Empire Diner.

Dervis hints in his Facebook post “while I embark on my next adventure…” but offers no details of what that may be.

I shared several text messages with Dervis this afternoon… he is still not in a position to share what his longer term plans are, but it seems the diner sale is one step in his full master plan.

That all being said, Dervis truly found the sale of his beloved Empire diner to have been a very difficult decision. Difficult to step away from the dinner, the staff, and the loyal customers.

Former Empire Diner owner Dervis (left, white shirt) takes a photo with customers. The caption on this Facebook post “EMPIRE DINER AND EMPIRE SPORTS BAR DONATES 10% OF OUR MEALS TO VETERANS AND LOCAL CHARITIES EVERY MONTH”

He describes his relationship with the Empire Diner customers as “more than a business transaction; it’s been a shared experience… To each of you who graced our doors with laughter, shared stories over meals, and became an integral part of the diner’s tapestry, I extend my sincerest appreciation.”

42Freeway first covered the Empire Diner opening back in the Fall of 2019.  At the time they stated they had the largest menu in South Jersey, and were open 24 hours, seven days a week! Ahhh remember those days!

Prior to the being the Empire Diner the popular eatery was known as the Brooklawn Diner which had reopened in the Summer of 2015.  For several years prior to that, the diner was closed… and with the 2015 reopening it had gone through a significant remodeling.

Empire Diner Brooklawn NJ

Over the recent years I’ve come to know Dervis and appreciate his business acumen and genuine desire to create a restaurant and bar experience which truly connects with the customers and the community.

If you speak to him for just a few moments about his businesses or the South Jersey restaurant industry in general, the man can’t help but smile with excitement as he talks about different plans for businesses, as well as his efforts to help those in the community.

Dervis organized several charitable efforts at the diner including free Thanksgiving dinners, and even more amazingly.. every month he donates 10% of Diner and Sportsbar meals to charities!

Being a positive and helpful part of the community was always on Dervis’ mind, and it seemed to spread throughout the diner!

Empire Diner Brooklawn NJ

A Fox29 story in 2020 highlighted one of his many “giving back” efforts, where the Empire Diner gave out free Thanksgiving Turkey dinners for three hours… and it was a FULL dinner with soup, salad, turkey dinner, sides and desserts! Customers in need could just walk in and ask for a turkey dinner and not receive a bill!

The giving spirit carried over to the customers, as also in 2020 a couple who enjoyed the service of one of the waitresses so much tipped her a 2006 Nissan Altima (Inquirer) as a gift… after hearing about woman’s difficulties in finding reliable transportation!

And in 2021 Dervis really stepped into action at a moments notice, saving a loyal customer who started choking while seated at the counter. Surveillance cameras caught the scene as Dervis sprung into action and saved the man’s life by performing the Heimlich maneuver! (6ABC)

“I was praying, ‘Please Lord, please God,” Akturk said. “But thank God I was in the right place at the right time.”

Empire Diner Owner Dervis Akturk on his efforts to help a choking customer

Cleary.. The Empire Diner is more to both the community and Dervis, than just a restaurant!

Dervis announced today that he sold his Empire Diner in Brooklawn NJ. New owners are from the Swedesboro Diner. Full announcement text below, or check on facebook!

The announcement was made just a few hours ago and already customers are sharing well-wishes and praise on Dervis and the Empire Diner… and also towards the new owners from the Swedesboro Diner!

Annisia M
Definitely going to miss going here. Wishing you the very best. You are amazing. Everything you have done for others and the community.

Bobbi Jo N
Good luck in your retirement! My family and I loved coming here on Saturday afternoons to catch up with one another and have lunch. Your diner had the best potato salad that any diner that I have visited. We always had the sweetest waitresses waiting on us while dining at your establishment.

Mary Anne H
Sorry to see you go. I live in Woolwich Township and know the Swedesboro Diner well. Glad to see you find a suitable buyer. Best of luck in your future endeavors. Thank you for your dedication to The Empire.

Tina M
Omg!!! Sad news, but I know you have something better coming. You always have something up your sleeve. I know you want bigger and have better dreams coming true. Good luck!! I can’t wait to hear what’s coming next from you.

Jamie B
Your Italian wedding soup is amazing. Thank you for all the great soups you’ve made over the time!

Ellen H
Oh noooo . My favorite diner.
Wishing you well in your new endeavors

So there is still a lot more to be told of this story… what are the plans for the Empire Diner? What are Dervis’ plans for the Empire Sports Bar, and his next adventure?

I’ll do my best to get the details! Good luck Dervis! Chat with you soon!

Dervis still owns the Empire Sports Bar in Brooklawn NJ, but announced today that he has sold his beloved Empire Diner

Dervis’ Facebook Post

As I write down these words, my heart sways with a bittersweet melody, a symphony of gratitude and farewell. It is both an honor and a challenge to express the depth of emotions that swirl within me as I announce the sale of our beloved EMPIRE diner.

To each of you who graced our doors with laughter, shared stories over meals, and became an integral part of the diner’s tapestry, I extend my sincerest appreciation. The journey we’ve traversed together has been more than a business transaction; it’s been a shared experience, a mosaic of connections that have woven the fabric of our community.

The decision to part ways with this establishment, where culinary delights met heartfelt conversations, was not made lightly. Circumstances evolve, and so must we. While I embark on a new venture, the memories we’ve created here will forever be etched in my heart. From the aroma of freshly brewed coffee to the echoes of laughter that filled the air, each moment has been a testament to the warmth and camaraderie that defines our diner family.

Wishing you all continued joy, success, and the company of good friends around dining tables. May our paths cross again in the tapestry of life.


With heartfelt gratitude,


Dervis Akturk – Announcing the sale of the Empire Diner (Facebook)

Empire Diner
297 Crescent Blvd
Brooklawn, NJ 08030


Empire Sports Bar
304 Crescent Blvd
Brooklawn, NJ 08030