Clem Pappas left his village in Greece and came to the United States in 1919 when he was 12 years old with just a few cents in his pocket and a good work ethic. His story is similar to many other immigrant stories out there, and the result of his hard work and courage was a small stainless steel diner, which he opened in 1939, just as the United States was climbing out of the Depression and heading into World War II.
1939 was an important year for another reason… it was about a week before the diner opened when Clem met Helen. They got married, moved to 18th Street in Union City, where they raised their sons. The boys would ride their bikes to the diner, help out if their father needed their help, or just sit at the counter and have a bite to eat while their parents were working.
Nick and John went off to school, but both came back to the diner – Nick in 1969 and John in 1972. Plans were then underway to turn the aging stainless steel diner into the much bigger Coach House. In 1973, the doors opened, and business carried on as usual.
Come to the Coach House today, and you’ll see for yourself the latest chapter in the history of the Pappas family and the Coach House in Hudson County. Renovations were completed in 2008 of the entire diner… the building may look a little different, but the spirit of the place is very much as it ever was. Nick and John continue to conduct business according to the principles their parents taught them: Always take care of the customer, give people plenty of value for their money and always have something for everyone.