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The Pub in Pennsauken Taking A Summer Break For Renovations

The Pub in Pennsauken Taking A Summer Break For Renovations
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A South Jersey restaurant institution for over 70 years, The Pub steakhouse in Pennsauken has announced a temporary closing starting July 1st.  The 2 1/2 months closure will last through the summer with a reopening set for September 20th.

The goal of the renovation/repair project is to upgrade back-end operations such as the kitchen, as well as improve core infrastructure items including a new roof. Additionally they will refresh areas that have been in need of maintenance and repair attention including new carpeting.

The Pub Steakhouse – Pennsauken NJ

I stopped over the day after the announcement (Monday) to visit at the bar and to talk to several folks at the restaurant about the plans.

And simply what I’ve learned is… this really is about taken care of some long overdue maintenance items that they know they had to get done.

The timing of the effort for the warm summer months was chosen as its common knowledge that many Philadelphia and suburban restaurants experience a revenue dip in the Summer, as customers visit the Jersey Shore or vacationing.

It’s likely a smart idea from management to tackle all of the needed repairs at once while temporarily closed, so the construction crews can focus on the efforts with no concerns of disrupting diners.

The numerous fans of The Pub seem to be happy that the classic decades old medieval interior and character of the massive 500-seat restaurant will remain the same.

The Pub shared news of the closure plans on Sunday at their Facebook page, without offering too many details beyond “renovations and repairs”.

And the hundreds of comments from loyal diners all have the same sentiment “You better not change a thing!”

People return to The Pub for their amazing steaks and more, but a big WOW factor is the size and interior decor.

Walking into The Pub is like stepping back into time to a 1960 designed medieval restaurant. It has a classic dark wood design throughout the restaurant, but it still feels current… like if Disney was building a new “old-school” restaurant for one of their theme parks.

Inside you’ll find suits of armor, crest flags of different families or kingdoms and other knightly decor aspects… yes there is a theme, but seeing old postcards of so many long ago restaurants from the era, I wonder if this design is simply what diners of the 1960s expected!

The Pub – A South Jersey Institution

If you are unfamiliar with The Pub, it is a large steakhouse restaurant in Pennsauken located at the Airport Circle where Route 130 connects to Routes 70 and 38 towards Cherry Hill.

Today they have a menu that offers steak, chicken and seafood dishes and an awesome salad bar… but clearly The Pub is known as being a steakhouse featuring a gigantic open hearth with charcoal fired ovens.  This is a unique feature not found in most other steakhouses, and The Pub is the only restaurant in the area that’s still cooks from the open charcoal hearth!

The Pub Pennsauken – Customer waiting area.

The Pub prides itself on being a mostly scratch made restaurant, which is incredibly impressive considering the size of the dining room and the number of customers that visit on any given evening.

Top selling items continue to be their Prime Rib, Filet Mignon and BBQ Baby Back Ribs!

But before you even have a chance to try the food you’ll likely be happily surprised by the building itself… from its sheer size of the dining room to the decades old medieval style interior architecture.

Just the small seating area on the upper level bar at the front of the restaurant compares in size to many other area restaurants… and that is before you walk a few steps to the lower level main dining room which is probably larger than the size of TWO high school gyms!

The Pub truly is a South Jersey legend, and the last remaining large restaurant from a long-ago South Jersey era.

Before the national chains came into South Jersey and took over all of the liquor licenses and local taste buds, this area through Pennsauken and Cherry Hill was home to many large and widely known restaurants such as the Latin Casino, Hawaiian Cottage, Rickshaw Inn and more…

Which of course includes The Pub… the last one still going strong after all these decades!

Which likely further explains the need for renovations and kitchen upgrades… given that it is a sole survivor of a bygone era, and likely in need of some “nips and tucks”

And while I have not toured through the kitchen, I can only imagine how large the operation is in order to prepare and feed so many customers at once! Any improvements there will likely improve the flow of food out to customers as well as offer improvements in preparation.

According to The Pub, the restaurant at the Airport Circle actually traces its roots back to the 1930s when it originally started life as a nightclub called “Neil Deighan’s”.  Neil was a local celebrity who had retired from professional baseball and basketball, and entered the restaurant business.

In 1950 the restaurant was purchased by three families who went into business together and at that time they renamed it The Pub for it’s 1951 opening.

In 1960, sadly The Pub burned to the ground and was rebuilt as we see it today.  Likely the interior you see today with all of its dark wood and design has been in place for the last 64 years.

As I sat at the bar yesterday I walked around and looked at some of the details that many diners likely don’t take the time to look at.

Hanging on the joists of the bar dining area are several dozen square wooden plaques which pay homage to local businesses.  I think it’s safe to say they’ve probably been there since the 60s, with long ago businesses listed such as the Daily News, New York Shipbuilding, and Hollingshead.

I may have to slip a 42Freeway plaque up on to those joists.

Links and Location

The Pub
7600 Kaighn Ave
Pennsauken, NJ