The Pine Hill Tavern has completed an impressive interior remodel that not only looks great, they managed to get more space and features into the same footprint!
While they previously had some table seating options, they now have a real dining area in a brighter space and lots of windows!
The new space offers an improved seating area, larger modern restrooms… and they still have room for the large bar and a pool table! I’m not really sure how they pulled it off!
But maybe the most striking change is the large windows surrounding the entire room!
Previously the Pine Hill Tavern had always been a darker interior bar even during the sunniest days. Before there were hardly any windows, and the walls were covered with very dark wood-grained paneling.
Today though the sunlight comes in from the MANY very large windows, and all of the interior walls have been redone with all new drywall, and painted light grey with bright white trim.
Even the ceiling is new.. gone are those 1970s era tiles…. the ceiling is now higher and modern with all new lighting.
If it’s your first visit you’ll think it looks more than great. If you had been to the “old” Pine Hill Tavern and come back for a return trip you will be simply blown away.
And yes the wings are still amazingly delicious. Pine Hill Tavern wings are absolutely deserving of being included in anyone’s rankings of “Best Wings in South Jersey”
The Pine Hill Tavern is still very much a friendly local tavern, with a much improved interior. And one of the best thing about about a small town tavern is they charge small town prices!
We first brought news of the upcoming upgrades about a year ago in October 2021.
With the interior upgrades now mostly complete the family are still targeting exciting exterior upgrades, the details of which are still being worked out. We’ll cover that in a subsequent post.
Pine Hill Tavern 46 Years and More!
The Pine Hill Tavern is located in Pine Hill NJ. Surprise!
Specifically they are at 1323 Erial Road at the corner of Buttonwood Ave.
The local tavern traces it start back to 1976 when two best friends Jay Rudderow and Harry opened up the Pine Hill Tavern.
A quick search of a newspaper archive shows the property was home to then named Friendly Tavern going back at least to 1957!
My history with the Pine Hill Tavern goes back to the late 1980s when my wife lived in Pine Hill and we were just dating. Much later on I performed in the bar a few times with cover bands that I was in!
And for all of my 30 year history visiting the PHT it was a friendly place… but very much with an aging and darker interior.
So in my visit this week I was truly blow away by the transformation.
I think I am highly adept at visualizing things. Heck, to be able to understand the Bellmawr road projects takes some brain power!
But honestly when family member Dee Dee told me last year what they were going to do in the tavern without expanding the building… I just couldn’t picture it! Just the thought of creating new full sized bathrooms felt like it was going to be too intrusive to the rest of the space.
And this week as soon as I entered from the back parking lot door… WOW! They pulled it off.
Part of the secret is there was a large storage room in the back that was reclaimed to be used for the core dining and pool table area.
Today the room along the Erial Road side goes wall to wall from the front corner door to the back parking lot door. In fact along that back wall they even have more windows!
Remember entering from back parking lot door and there was a long hallway first? Now you enter directly into customer space. Well a small vestibule area is there.
What was the storage area is now home to the pool table. Then the big open area for tables is next.
And the institutional style white floor tiles? gone! Now they have a stylish wood-grained flooring.
The plastic tables and folding chairs? GONE! Now the PHT has brand new high-top tables and chairs.
And add in the new windows and brighter paint…
Well it really makes for a more comfortable place for couples and friends to say “let’s stop at the PHT to for a beer and wings”.
And honestly I think because of that the upgrades will pay for themselves.
While the bar area has always been active, I think they previously weren’t maximizing the causal dining crowd who want to sit in a nice and update dining area.
Pine Hill Tavern does an amazing “to-go” business with their wings and other food items which I expect to continue.
But now I expect they will see all new faces coming into the tavern to stay, eat and have a couple of beers.
And in the “back of the house” the kitchen has been improved and family member Dee-Dee tells me they are working on adding more fryers for their wings.
Did I mention they make amazing wings at the Pine Hill Tavern?
The Pine Hill Tavern has been top wing contender for DECADES! They haven’t changed a thing about the delicious recipe, and now you have a much more comfortable dining area to hang out and enjoy with a cold beer!
Another huge change that will help bring a dining crowd in are the new bathrooms!
Honestly I wanted to get a photo but somehow forgot. But it really is a huge deal.
Remember before the closet sized bathrooms with locks that most times didn’t work?
Now the bathrooms are all new and LARGER! They were able to do this by bringing them out into the space which used to be the pool table area.
To be direct.. if you have a bad bathroom setup many (most) women won’t want to stay at your establishment. This is no longer a problem at the Pine Hill Tavern.
Local Ownership : The Rudderow Family
As mentioned, the Pine Hill Tavern was started in 1976 by two good friends, Jay and Harry.
A few years ago, Jay and his two children Dee-Dee and Tim joined together to take over 100% ownership of the tavern.
Dee-Dee previously shared with me that PHT has always been a big part of her life. During her High School years she spent most of her weekends making their delicious buffalo wings!
So it was almost natural for the family to take over!
With the Rudderow Family in full control, they decided to improve the restaurant, and today you can stop in to see the results of their vision and investment.
Sadly though, in June of this year Jay passed away at the age of 77.
Dee-Dee tells me he did get to see the finished remodeled bar and absolutely loved it!
Jay also must’ve taken comfort in the fact that his children are at the helm of his beloved tavern. The kids and the PHT are all in good hands.
So as a reminder… be sure to visit and support locally owned businesses! We need them as much as they need us!
Links and Location
Pine Hill Tavern
1323 Erial Road
Pine Hill NJ 08021