The USA Country Diner has sat vacant on Route 130 for 15 years. (Screengrab from Youtube video by Fluidfly.)

The USA Country Diner has sat vacant for 15 years along Route 130 in Robbinsville, but the lot won’t be abandoned for much longer.

Demolition has started at the property, with township officials saying the diner will be knocked down completely. A new building housing a casual restaurant and sports bar will replace the diner.

After years of work to renew the property, Robbinsville Township council acknowledged this important step during its June 13 meeting. The planning board previously approved a developer’s agreement with Akal Estates, LLC last year.

Akal Estates bought the 2-acre lot with the diner at 1380 Route 130 in February 2017 for $1.25 million. It had been owned by Chrysoula LLC since December 2006. Akal Estates owns other properties in the area, according to real estate records, including 3666 Klockner Road in Hamilton, home to City Auto Center II.

The eatery would fill a gap in the town’s dining scene. The casual-bar concept had been non-existent in Robbinsville until last month, when PJ’s Pancake House opened May 28.