Good grief, was the pandemic ever unkind to the restaurant industry in New Jersey.

Far from the only tragedy, the chain of Charlie Brown’s took a big hit. Before the virus came there were 14 locations here. Then there was only one. That Scotch Plains restaurant remained open and stands as the last one in the Garden State.

Even before the COVID-19 virus shuttered businesses, Charlie Brown’s footprint had been shrinking. The first one opened back in 1966. By 1997 there were 22 of the beloved restaurants across New Jersey. They filed for bankruptcy in 2010, 44 years after their debut and after changing ownership several times.

My mom and step-dad LOVED this place. As did so many others. The steakhouse was known for its prime rib and salad bar.

If you’re among those who miss the place and are in (or near) Gloucester County, good news. The Charlie Brown’s in Woodbury is coming back!

An exact date hasn’t been chosen but at some point in the first quarter of the new year, the building at 111 North Broad St. is coming back to life as a Charlie Brown’s.

Mayor Peg Sickel made the announcement in a December newsletter, writing:

“The empty building on Broad Street was a somber reminder to our residents of the loss of one of our beloved restaurant locations. Woodbury residents would reach out to the owners on their website to tell their own stories of special events that took place in those walls.”

She also wrote that lots of renovations were underway including flooring, bathroom upgrades, signage, etc.. The newsletter even spilled the tea that other closed locations around the state may re-open as they are “being evaluated for their viability.”

Mom will be happy.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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