Employees at Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse in Montclair and Clifton found out that the eateries would be closed for good this morning.

Montclair and Clifton are two of 20 Charlie Brown’s shutdown this morning without any reason or notice.

An employee who answered the phone this afternoon at Montclair’s Charlie Brown’s in Upper Montclair Plaza said, he didn’t know why they were shut down, but they received word from corporate this morning that they were being closed.

“All I know is that we’re not working,” the employee said, who didn’t want to give his name.

Two Clifton employees were outside crying and hugging each other this morning. They described the steakhouse as a second home, a place where most of the employees came to hang out when they weren’t working.

Baristanet called the Charlie Brown’s Corporation, located in Mountainside, NJ, to find out about the closure of the locations. We will update the article as soon as we hear anything.


As of this morning Charlie Brown’s parent company CB Holding Corporation made the decision to close 20 Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse and 10 Bugaboo Creek Steakhouses.

“These were restaurants that have just been underperforming for us,” Director of Marketing Rich Covey said.

The corporation is working with the employees affected by the store closures to place them in the other remaining restaurants, Covey said.

There are 1,400 employees effected by the restaurant closing that corporate will be trying to assist.

There are still 29 Charlie Brown’s Steakhouses, 20 Bugaboo Creek Steakhouses and seven Office Bar and Grills working under the CB Corporation.

The Charlie Brown’s in Millburn will be one of the remaining 29 restaurants to stay open.

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52 replies on “Charlie Brown’s Closed in Montclair, Clifton”

  1. That sucks. I loved going there for a quick bite or drink before seeing something at the Bellevue.

    I sure hope they don’t close The Office next or I’ll have to cry. Too many fond memories there from the last 10 years.

  2. GNM,

    Doesnt look good for the Office either. In many towns including Westfield, NJ The Office is closing as well. Not all, but the under-preforming sites are going bye bye.

    I’ll be interested to see how much the Liquor License sells for

  3. Sad news. That place holds so many fun memories from nights at the bar to family dinners to reuniting with friends during the holidays.

    Nothing better than grabbing a table by the fireplace on a winter’s night with a bunch of friends and boozing it up.

    If those walls could talk.

    Of course, this does mean there’s another liquor license floating around town, now.

  4. Kyle, I’ve heard through the grapevine that the Office chain is safe (at least the one in Westfield), for now. Montclair should be in good shape, too.

    I’d hate for The Office to go away. One of the few places that has a *really* good beer selection around these parts.

  5. This is so sad for the employees. A restaurant staff really does become a second family. Now there is the loss of both the job and the camaraderie that might get you through the loss of a job. I wish them all lots of luck.

  6. tarkus,

    The Office or “old Jolley Trolley” in downtown Westfield is definitely up for sale.(myself and owners of Trap Rock Restaurant & Brewery in Berkley Heights are interested and made inquiries) Its a gonner! Cranford Office will stay, it does good business.

  7. Funny — we went to Charlie Brown’s in Clifton a week or two ago and I thought that the food had really gone downhill. I was only in the Montclair CB’s once — that was enough. We go to the one just off Route 46 in Fairfield with some regularity — I hope that one wasn’t closed. Dating myself, but I spent a lot of time in the original Charlie Brown’s in Grand Central Terminal back when I was commuting north of the City. They were more about the bar than the restaurant, at least from a commuters POV.

  8. Well, this is sad news. Great salad bar, food my picky kids will eat, and I can actually get a nice mixed drink with dinner instead of carting along a bottle of wine and worrying whether we’ll have to drive home with it half-finished (and therefore, open).

    I’ll miss you, Charlie Brown!

  9. Wow, this is a shocker. CB’s is a big hangout for me and my running club friends. I always liked it: decent food, good service, nice atmosphere. I hope this is not permanant.

  10. tarkus,

    While I agree with the thinking, there are so many different variables with each location that it is tough to group them together. Plus not all locations are worth the investment. Maybe the liquor license’s but not the actual properties.

    The Office in Westfield for example has virtually NO parking, why would someone want that space for dinning/drinking? Westfield has such limited parking downtown its unbelievable. I cant speak for the other locations though.

  11. I guess corporate pulled the football away from the employees…..

    But all the love showed here is curious, have folks really been to CB in the last year?

    I used to go, but with so many other choices, I haven’t been in a long time…. Same with the Office.

  12. oh, we’ve agreed before. The Up/Down thing and I believe that color of the sky issue, if I’m not mistaken.

  13. Prof,

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I had some post b-day drinks with friends on the 30th at Charlie Brown’s and eat at The Office regularly ($3 for any draft pint on Wednesday is hard to beat).

    There are a TON of places to eat in Montclair. But very few that offer good old “American” food, a decent beer selection and reasonable prices (that last one knocking Egan & Sons and Tierney’s out of contention).

  14. UB2Much ROC.
    Nonetheless, I am heartened by the realization that you and I share a dislike of sticky tables.

  15. Maybe we’ll get a place with good food and good service, with reasonable prices. I was hoping the place in the station would fulfill that, but it doesn’t. Amazing that they have an outdoor space and a liquor license and an Upper Montclair location and managed to get it wrong. The outdoor space looks like an afterthought, not a place to relax and have a drink and it’s totally disconnected from the rest of the restaurant since you have to pass the bathrooms to get there. The bar is smack in the middle with a too high ceiling, the surfaces are too plain and “jersey.”. It’s a shame. The food is just average, which would actually be passable if the environment were more smartly designed. The owner should have tried eating in downtown Montclair, or Westfield or Hoboken first. Maybe Charlie Brown’s will become something better.

  16. I think I saw a mouse in the dining room one evening while grabbing a quick bite. I am not a red meat eater, but Charlie could whip one up in a hurry if I felt a craving! Let’s hope they do right by the employees!

  17. Okay. I’m officially going on an Affect versus Effect campaign. I know updates are quick and sudden, but come on! This site accepts ad revenue. There has to be a higher standard!

  18. Laura,
    Hate to tell you but that was not a mouse. Bigger. What a shame. The new CEO ran it right into the ground. Not only food wise but the way they treated the employees, especially the long time employees. Then they close the doors on a Monday morning as the workers were arriving.
    Charlie Brown’s was the go to place since the mid 70’s. Great place to grab a nice steak and salad bar. They should have stuck to their signature items but they wanted to compete with the other chains. That was the start of the downfall. The service fell when all the good employees jumped ship when they were getting screwed over. Then there is the lawsuit file this week and one pending.
    Shame, such a shame.

  19. As much as I’ve experienced the many transitions of the Montclair CBs, my partner and I will never believe this has happened. There have been times when it was at it’s lowest possible level, but we never gave up. I felt now it was making a strong effort to rebound. The recent menu offered some decent entree selections and the salad bar had greatly improved from the dismal state it was in a few years back. To be torn from this mainstay will be hard for us to take. Since going there on a regular basis from the late 70’s, along with all the friendships that were formed, of so many of the staff, I do hope for their well being, knowing how tough it is these days. We’ll surely miss them all. This really sucks! Nothing can replace this.

  20. Charlie Brown’s never pretended to be anything it was not. It’s not gourmet food but yanno, sometimes people don’t want gourmet food, they just want to grab a quick bite before or after a movie, have lunch while shopping, or just go out for drinks and appetizers on someone’s birthday. So, in this way, it served a purpose. In the winter, I liked sitting in the cozy room with the fireplace.

    That being said, I think it was horrendous the way management treated the employees, giving them ZERO notice that they were closing (although I imagined some employees might have seen the writing on the wall). That is inexcusable. I hope that all these people find jobs soon, working for better people.

  21. It’s a shame that these folks are joining the unemployed. I was there on Saturday night…great new flat screen TV’s and the bartender was wonderful. My wife and I were always treated well by the waitstaff. I hope they all find new jobs before the new year. Just what Clifton needed another business closing up. This seems like an ideal location for a restaurant/bar…plenty of parking and convenient to the highway.. It will be missed by many.

  22. Tough break for the workers, but it is quite easy to get a restaurant gig. I go out to lunch/dinner 6 times a week and the places I go are busy and probably most of these workers will land at a new restaurant around town soon enough. after all, it’s not like their jobs have been outsourced.

  23. Put a real steak place there, like Mignons from Rutherford, Rare, or even a Franklinsteakhouse type place that most of the CB clientele would really appreciate

  24. I absolutely hated this place (both locations). It always smelled like old people and I got this weird vibe from the place. There was ALWAYS someone weird eating there and it was always empty. The food was awful (I only kept coming back because for some reason my girlfriend enjoyed the salad bar). Hopefully something new/better moves in there because even though it was awful, it was still a place with employees and it’s sad whenever a place closes no matter how bad.

  25. What a shock that corporation would shaft their employees!?!
    Bad management is the bane of America, and that is what made the quality at CB go down every year over the 15 years that we have lived in Baristaville — the restaurant never felt really clean, nor was the food memorable for quality or flavor. The service never impressed me either. That said, it’s still sad to lose a semi-family restaurant with a real salad bar, and for people to lose their jobs, even worse when done without notice.

  26. Hey, Mike: good instincts with your post, but maybe as a local business person you should support the local business that is Baristanet? Like, maybe pay for your advertising here (as so many restaurants do)?

  27. appletony,

    I don’t have a problem with Mike’s comment about needed a waiter. Considering this post- it’s about the abruptness of the closing and how the employees were left out in the cold- I think Mike is within the spirit of the comments here to let those employees know of the job.

    To admonish him about “advertising” the job here is unnecessary and wrong (he didn’t say, come and eat at my restaurant, it’s great here’s a link; he said, I need a waiter, here’s the contact info).

    Big difference.

  28. Well, I am glad that Mikey did his one line advertisement because I may have not know about this establishment and after reading the menu, I plan on stopping by for dinner.

    Don’t know of any waiters, but I’m sure you’ll find one–check with the college!

  29. Charlie Brown’s was horrible! Totally depressing scene! And, the food was just mediocre and that salad bar was total crap. Can this area not have a good salad bar?

    SO happy to see it closing and hope this means the liquor license will go to a real bar!

  30. Mike’s comment was relevant to the story, and if he didnt add his website, someone would have asked for a link anyway. What I would like to see though, is Mike advertising on Groupon… I bought a few for epernay and have been enjoying some quality dinners there this past month.

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