It was a two year effort to get to this point, but the local family who own the beloved Pine Hill Tavern were approved last night for their expansion plans which will add a large indoor/outdoor dining and bar area, as well as an expanded parking lot.
The family made the announcement at their Facebook Page this afternoon that last night they were granted approval by the Pine Hill Planning board.
The family’s excitement was clear in the wording of the post where they thanked members of the design and legal teams, their loyal customers, and the town of Pine Hill for believing in their vision for the bar which has been operating in town for almost 50 years.
This afternoon I caught up with Dee-Dee who is one of the family members who own and operate the Tavern.
She tells me that while this is absolutely the biggest hurdle they needed to get past for the expansion, there are still a few extra challenges they need to work through before they can start development. But clearly they needed to get the town’s blessing first before they dove into any other aspects.
And based on the remodeling work they completed last year on the original Pine Hill Tavern building, you know the expanded space and parking area is going be amazing.
Pine Hill Tavern – Expansion Coming Soon
For the addition, they will be building a 50 x 50 enclosed space attached to the back of the existing building (where the pool table is located) and extend into that parking area.
While the new space is enclosed and available for year round dining, they will utilize windowed garage doors extensively on the walls of the new space, so that in nice weather they can open the room to the outside.
Current plans for the new square footage include adding a second bar, as well as having space for additional dining tables.
I imagine the dream of the family is that in nice weather they’ll be able to open up the space to the outside, as customers are served ice cold beers and delicious buffalo wings, all while being entertained by a local acoustic musician!
With the new building taking up a portion of the existing parking lot, the family had previously purchased an adjacent lot down to the corner… where they will be extending the parking lot area.
The parking area will also include a stormwater management basin. The existing building has solar panels in place already, and they will be part of the expansion also.
While all of this is exciting, there is still a lot of work to be done before they put the first shovel in the ground. Dee-Dee tells me they hope that in Spring of 2024 they are breaking ground on the project… with an opening later in 2024.
Pine Hill Tavern – Interior Remodel
This has been a two phase redevelopment gameplan for the Pine Hill Tavern. Starting in 2021 the family identified two different “plans of attack”.
This full dream was to fully remodel the main 50 year old Tavern to make it more open, bright and inviting, and the second aspect was to expand the building so that they could support an outdoor bar and dining component.
Knowing that the expansion would require additional time for design, planning, approval and construction… well the family got that process started in 2021, and then also focused on rebuilding the original bar area.
Opening up the existing tavern inside and out, appeared to be a key goal.
Large windows were added around the entire bar space to let in plenty of light, and to remove the “closed in feeling.
A storage area at the back was removed and more windows were added there. That space now has a pool table, and is also the stage area when local bands play.
While that change increased the dining room area, they made another smart decision to build all new and large bathrooms.
Plus every surface of the Tavern was upgraded including new flooring, walls and paint, and tables/chairs.
The remodel took what was a darker old bar locked in 1976, and turned it into a very inviting space… a balance that also seemed to win the approval of the regulars.
The main bar upgrades were completed around this time last year. 42Freeway wrote about it in September of 2022.
Honestly its one of the best bar/restaurant transformations I’ve seen, which completely improved the character of the bar without (at the time) expanding the space.
In my October 2021 coverage of the then upcoming plans to remodel the Pine Hill Tavern, I made a comparison to the success that Dominic’s Tavern in Bellmawr has seen with their years of upgrades, and hoped for that the same success for the Pine Hill Tavern.
Well I can tell you I’ve visited the PHT many times since the remodel was completed, and every time the place has a great crowd… and usually has been packed!
So now a year of the initial remodel, and two years after full plan to remodel and expand was born.. the family can focus on the expansion project.
Pine Hill Tavern – Locally Owned Since 1976
The Pine Hill Tavern has been owned by members of the Rudderow family since 1976.
Originally owned by Dad Jay and a partner, in early 2021 DeeDee and brother Tim joined in with their father as 100% owners of the Pine hill Tavern… with a goal to improve and grow the bar, so that they could keep it in the family for generations to come.
The bar has always been a big part of the family. Dee-Dee says she spent most of her weekends through High School working the kitchen making the delicious PHT Buffalo Chicken Wings!
About a year after the family collectively took over ownership of the bar 100%, Dad Jay Rudderow sadly passed away.
In today’s Facebook post announcement, the family added a few words to Jay.
Dad, this is all because of you! We know you’re up there smiling down and a have beer in hand!Love you Dad! CHEERS for the next phase of renovations, Let’s Go!!
Links and Location
Pine Hill Tavern – Open During Renovations!
1323 Erial Road
Pine Hill NJ 08021