WALDWICK, N.J. — At 54, Tami Moses never expected to open an eatery like the Whistle Stop on Frederick Street in Waldwick.
“But it’s so much fun!” she said.
In nice weather, folks sit on the picnic tables outside, she noted.
They watch the trains go by and the construction of Waldwick Station across the tracks.
Opened in 2015, the Whistle Stop has become part of the revival of the borough’s train district.
The area also has recently seen the opening of the Erie Railroad Signal Tower on Bohnert Place and the restored Waldwick train station on Hewson Avenue that is now a museum of Waldwick history .
Everything about the Whistle Stop does homage to the town where Tami and her husband, Neil, grew up.
There are breakfast sandwiches named Engineer and Conductor.
Another features eggs, American cheese, and bacon. It’s called the DAGGO after Marine Staff Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine, killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012.
The #38 Ice Cream Sundae – vanilla ice cream, chocolate “dirt,” whipped cream, and red, white and blue sprinkles – is named after Police Officer Christopher Goodell, killed in the line of duty two years later.
Moses knew both as they were growing up.
A portion of the sales of both specials goes to the mens’ memorial funds.
She also keeps alive the memory of men who worked the rails.
On the walls of the Whistle Stop is a picture of Lester Errickson, who drove the Blue Comet for President Franklin Roosevelt. He was her maternal great-grandfather.
There’s a plaque dedicated to Harry R. Vandercar, an air brake machinist’s helper killed in 1944 while fighting with the U.S. Army in Germany. It once was on a train for the Central Railroad of New Jersey.
Vandercar was her maternal grandfather.
“There’s so much history here,” Moses said. “The people who worked on the railroad lived on Zazzetti Street and some of those families are still there.”
With the Whistle Stop, Moses is reviving something else in the borough: a wholesome feeling of safety and togetherness of another era.
Whistle Stop sells comfort foods at comfortable prices but with a very modern concern for allergies.
Her place sells breakfasts, lunches, dinners to go, and desserts.
It makes burgers, deep-fried hot dogs, homemade salads, homemade soups and dinners to go.
It carries handmade ice cream from Pennsylvania Dutch country and makes pick-your-own-flavor ice cream cake.
It caters to kids, old folks, commuters and young families.
“I would rather have a family come in here two times a week and not break the bank,” Moses said.
“That’s just my philosophy.”