After my high school graduation in 1979, My parents thought that Charlie Brown’s was the perfect place to sit down for a celebratory meal. I can remember a couple of cast parties for local community theater productions that took place at Charlie Brown’s as well. It was a great place to celebrate

And now, like so many other New Jersey businesses, Charlie Brown’s is slowly on the road to its demise, closing location after location, with only one restaurant remaining.

It’s not like the famous steakhouse wasn’t struggling before this. According to an article on NJ.com, the company who owned it filed for bankruptcy in 2010. That’s when the first locations started to close. Then, 2018 saw more closings, but that still left many locations in New Jersey, including Chatham, East Windsor, Oradell, Washington Township and Woodbury. There was even one in New York. Still, Charlie Brown's remained a crowd favorite.

But of course, along came the COVID-19 pandemic and the hysteria that went along with it, including Gov. Phil Murphy‘s never-ending executive orders and the ensuing business problems that went along with them. And when businesses finally started to open back up, only a couple of locations were able to reopen. One of those, in Lakewood, recently closed again for good.

Charlie Brown’s has been in business for more than 50 years and had 49 locations in its prime. And now the last man is standing: Charlie Brown’s Scotch Plains is the only Charlie Brown's left.

According to the NJcom piece, a spokesman for Charlie Brown’s said, “New Jersey was shut down longer than any state in the U.S., then only reopening at 25% capacity for indoor dining is not enough as we lost outdoor dining with winter.” He continued: “So, many people think that full-service restaurants can make it on take-out and third-party, but that is not the case.”

I think one of the people he’s referring to there is our own governor, Phil Murphy, who seems to be blissfully unaware that his edicts are unsustainable.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi’s own.

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