The refresh/remodel of Woodbury NJ’s Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse restaurant is fully underway, targeting a reopening this Spring (2022).
Mark from 42Freeway met up with Woodbury’s General Manager, and went inside for a tour of the remodeling progress!
We have a few teaser pics from inside the building, but they are early in the remodel process so still early to understand the full final look!
And of course Mark shares details with our readers.
Let’s be very clear what refresh/remodel means! All of the character of the core customer dining and bar areas will remain.
The wood bar, shelving and ceilings will remain… but all painted surfaces will be cleaned up and painted. New lighting fixtures are ready to be installed. New carpeting is going in as well as an upgraded kitchen, bathrooms and more!
And yes this means the beloved and famous salad bar…. is remaining!
Charlie Brown’s Coming Back!
But first a step back… 40 years ago this year, the beloved and iconic Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse opened in Woodbury New Jersey, taking over what was previously the Bull’s Head Inn.
They operated very successfully for decades until the pressures of 2020’s Covid shutdowns and other factors led to the Woodbury location closing in September of 2020.
The building was quickly listed for sale.
Actually, several Charlie Brown’s locations closed around the same time, and right now only Scotch Plains is listed on their website as open… with a teaser of “Woodbury Coming Soon!”
Fast forward 14 months to December 2021, and 42Freeway was the first media outlet to report that Charlie Brown’s Woodbury was going to reopen! Charlie Brown’s management had taken over the historic building and were ready to upgrade and reopen!
Considering that there where at one time Charlie Brown’s restaurants dotting all across the state, the story was picked up by every media outlet in New Jersey and surrounding states. It truly went viral.
Charlie Brown’s Woodbury Refresh Explained
In that December breaking news post we stated the owners would put in extra capital for some significant “freshening up” .
I’m trying to be careful here because while they are doing significant upgrades… it’s still going to be that same Charlie Brown’s in the bar and dining areas that we’ve loved for decades… just with a facelift!
In the 42Freeway visit today we chatted with the General Manager of the soon-to-open Woodbury NJ location. First we chatted outside and spoke of what the restaurant offered to customers who loved it, and what it meant to the town and the area as a whole.
I shared my own history about knowing the first location General Manager, who originally developed and opened the property in the early 80s.
While outside the GM pointed out that the entire exterior was getting repainted, and primer paint was already going up.
One exterior wall area in the back needed some extra work, but overall the exterior is in good shape.
The iconic window awnings out front are down and will be replaced with new… but the hanging Charlie Brown’s sign out front will stay.. and probably freshened up a bit itself!
Soon I was invited inside to see first hand how remodeling is progressing.
Here’s the big take away: IT’S REALLY HAPPENING!
Bar and Dining Areas
We entered from the front via the left side door that was closest to the banquet rooms.
Somewhat symbolic… this banquet area is still decorated with Easter Decorations from 2020… the last season before the restaurant closed. While I am not saying they should leave those decorations up, it seems that the refreshed and reopened restaurant could reopen for the same spring season!
All things blossom again in the spring! Including a new Charlie Brown’s Woodbury.
Walking through the core customer areas, much of it is covered in plastic and tarps as the focus right now is on repainting ceilings and walls (that aren’t covered by wood).
Everything is covered.. because all of that beautiful woodwork is staying!
As mentioned they will also be replacing the carpeting.
New light fixtures are ordered and many have been delivered, but not installed. New bar stools are on order.
And the question that everyone asks… Yes the beloved salad bar is staying!
And even those 2 or 3 banquet areas on the left where we entered the building are are also getting the patch, paint and carpet treatment. In our last visit to the restaurant before closing in 2020, I had noted it seemed they weren’t being used and could “use some love”… and with the reopening they will be brought back to life!
Bathrooms and Kitchen
Two of the bigger projects that Charlie Brown’s management is undertaking, are completely new bathrooms and a significantly upgraded kitchen. (All new kitchen?)
And when I say “completely new bathrooms”… right now they are down to the bare stud walls. When completed the new bathrooms will provide the utmost level of comfort for all patrons!
While we didn’t walk into the kitchen, I could clearly see it down the short hallway from the bathroom area, and I could make out that kitchen equipment was being moved around and removed, to make room for the new appliances and hardware.
I was incredibly appreciative of the time the General Manager gave me to talk about the restaurant, and to give me a tour of progress so far.
And of course I asked “So when do you think you’ll be open?”
There are many factors in answering this question… such as material availability and finalized approvals.
Let’s just say they are looking at opening this Spring. Considering spring runs from March 20 to June 21st, I think it’s safe for me to say the opening leans more towards mid/early Spring than late.
Links and Locations
Charlie Brown’s Fresh Grill Steakhouse (Re-opening Spring 2022)
111 N Broad St