Home Essex County Ruthie’s BBQ + Pizza in Montclair Announces Closure Suddenly

Ruthie’s BBQ + Pizza in Montclair Announces Closure Suddenly

by The Montclair Girl Team
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Ruthie’s BBQ + Pizza — located at 64 ½ Chesnut Street in Montclair — has become a MTC staple over the years, serving up pizza and BBQ-style eats. The restaurant is a passion project between the husband-and-wife team of Ruthie Perretti and Eric Kaplan, who have made Ruthie’s what it is today. Sadly, the owners announced on July 30th that the restaurant has suddenly closed its doors, as the two are venturing into other projects to help create a market for growers in New Jersey. Read on for what we know about the closure and what we will miss about Ruthie’s BBQ + Pizza in Montclair — including some bits from our talk with Ruthie and Eric back in 2022.

The Closure

On July 30th, 2023, Ruthie’s BBQ + Pizza took to Facebook to share the news with its customers about the sudden closure after being in business for 16 years:

“For over 16 years this corner has been not only our business, but our home. It has been our greatest joy to share all that we love with you; Slow Smoked BBQ, thin crust Pizza and Hot Jammin’Blues. Yes, we are closing Ruthie’s in Montclair, but our journey as creators continues. We might not be running a daily restaurant, but we are on a new mission to give back to our community. In recent years we have been cultivating naturally grown regional grains at Ruthie’s Farm and established Marksboro Mills in conjunction with River Valley Community Grains to create a market for other growers in NJ. Our vision goes beyond simply feeding you; we aim to restore a healthy local grain economy and that nourish both people and the earth. And we will invite you, when we are ready, to come see us as there is no way we will stop supporting live music! We plan on having events with the roots music we love and locally sourced food. It has been very difficult to make the final call on when to close our business here in Montclair, but the night we finally did, July 29th, 2023, it was a typical scene, outdoor music about to start, rain moving in, are we inside – are we outside? We scrambled a bit, and when the rain moved out, a vibrant rainbow emerged above our beloved building. It seemed to confirm that our commitment to creating meaningful experiences goes beyond our restaurant’s walls. We’re sorry to have made this decision without a heads up to all of you, but it was the only way that felt right to us. We will be offering our place back to the universe for the next person to create a new story, just as we did when we purchased this magical corner building those many years ago.

To be continued with love,
Ruthie and Eric”.

The spot also announced the closure on Instagram:

You can follow along on Facebook and Instagram for any future updates about the duo’s new ventures.

Read More: Porta Montclair is Getting a Second-Floor Outdoor Deck

All About Ruthie’s BBQ + Pizza

Ruthie’s BBQ + Pizza was started back in 2008 while Ruthie and Eric were dating. Eric is a professional chef who came from a fine dining background where he worked at various restaurants throughout New York City, but he’s a musician at heart. The music is what brought them together.

The two started dating and an idea came up to open their own place. “After many years in the city, it was time for [Eric] to do his own thing and he wanted to do something low-key,” Ruthie said. She went on to say, “His dream was to do BBQ and Blues and I, at the time, was very supportive of that. I was looking to purchase some commercial real estate. With Eric living in New Jersey at the time, we decided to look around in the state.”

During a drive with a Realtor® to find a space, Eric found himself in Ruthie’s hometown of Montclair. He called her saying that he’d found the perfect spot and began to describe it to her. She knew exactly the building he was describing because it used to be a much-loved Italian deli that served local families.

Eric made everything in the restaurant from scratch and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Ruthie and Eric own a farm in Western NJ and it’s where they produce locally sourced food for the restaurant, including milling their own flour for the pizza crust.

About two years into the restaurant’s establishment, Ruthie’s started showcasing live music for patrons. “We started bringing Eric’s friends and other musicians in and then the word got out around musicians that this was a great spot for live music from respected musicians because the chef is a musician himself,” she shared. Ruthie’s had a regular line-up of live shows.

Guests could expect to have a home-cooked meal when dining with all BBQ smoked in-house by Eric. Some of the most frequently ordered menu items included the pulled pork and baby back ribs.

See More: Best Barbecue Spots in Hoboken + Jersey City

The side dishes or fixings, Ruthie explained, were “very well thought-out, but not fussy.” Items like macaroni and cheese, buttermilk onion rings, and hush puppies were freshly prepared — and the restaurant was best known for its collard greens.

Stay in the know with all of the local news by following @themontclairgirl on Instagram and TikTok.

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