New Montclair Beer Garden Opening Soon

Montclair is now home to a new beer garden thanks to the owner and chef of the popular restaurant Turtle + the Wolf. In the coming weeks, Chef Lauren Hirschberg will officially open the Pineapple Express Barbecue located in the old station house of Lackawanna Station located at 1 Lackawanna Plaza, the former Pig + Prince space.

Pineapple Express Barbecue

Pig + Prince closed in the summer of 2019 and the space has been vacant since. According to NorthJersey.com, Lauren is partnering with Montclair transplant Damon Wise, former executive chef at Craft, a Manhattan-based restaurant run by Tom Colicchio, and the Monkey Bar.

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Pineapple Express Barbecue

(Photo credit: @pineappleexpressbarbecue)

BBQ lovers, rejoice! Lauren explained that Pineapple Express Barbecue will not be a traditional beer garden, but will have a beer garden-style experience: the space will include picnic tables, a takeout window, a roving waitstaff, and a full bar.

Pineapple Express Barbecue

(Photo credit: @pineappleexpressbarbecue)

He added that the menu will feature traditional barbecue fare like Texas smoked brisket, pulled pork, sausages, and smoked chicken. Lauren told NorthJersey.com that the two classically trained chefs will also “lean into our green-market experience,” offering some “vegetable-heavy dishes.”

Pineapple Express Barbecue

(Photo credit: @pineappleexpressbarbecue)

Pineapple Express Barbecue has given the community a taste of what’s to come over the summer by participating in local events like The Montclair Jazz Festival, which had several performances in the  Lackawanna Plaza. The new eatery/beer garden has also offered outdoor dining that includes items off of the menu that will be available once the space is ready for an official opening. More recently, in honor of Ocktoberfest, the beer garden has opened up a portion of its indoor space to the public which includes access to a bar, TVs to catch games, and menu items.

As far as the new look of the space, Lauren told the outlet, “We did not do extensive renovations. Just painted some walls, removed an old carpet, cleaned the floors a bit, and retrofitted the kitchen with our equipment.”

The team uploaded a status update video on the Pineapple Express Barbecue Instagram account on September 25th:

The most exciting part: the restaurant is set to officially open its entire space later this month. An official opening date for Pineapple Express Barbecue has yet to be announced, but we will keep you updated as more details unfold.

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To learn more about Lauren’s background and the Turtle + the Wolf, check out our conversation with him here.


Written by:

Victoria is MG's Associate Editor and Social Media Coordinator for the Hoboken Historical Museum + Fire Department Museum. She is a born and bred Jersey girl with deep roots in Hoboken and Jersey City. When she’s not touring delicious restaurants and attending events in the Hudson/Essex area, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.


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