Egan & Sons is Montclair’s little piece of Ireland.
New Jersey may not be known for its pubs, but that hasn’t stopped it from producing some of the finest in the country. The cream of the crop of these cozy watering holes is Montclair’s very own Egan & Sons, owned and operated by Sharon and Chris Egan. Although formerly married and now separated, Sharon and Chris have committed themselves to making their restaurants serve and perform at the highest level.
Along with both an Egan & Sons in Charleston, S.C. and Montclair, Sharon and Chris also operate Egan & Sons neighboring restaurant, Halcyon. This is a testament to the hard work, time and effort that both Sharon and Chris have produced in order to top the Montclair bar scene and run award-winning restaurants.
The restaurant describes itself as an “authentic Irish pub.” Perhaps the only difference between Ireland’s pubs and Egan’s is the nationality of the patrons. Chris’ father opened a pub in Dublin which his brother now runs, and having been there, I can safely say that Chris has successfully molded that famous Irish “craic” to fit inside the hardwood walls of Montclair’s restaurant.
While making a successful bar is hard enough, they have managed to make Egan’s one of Montclair’s favorite eateries. The menu is filled with traditional Irish and English dishes that are filling, passionately made and most of all delicious. Take, for example, their award-winning fish and chips. While this dish is something that Americans may be foreign to, the aura of familiarity and comfort within Egan’s has propelled this dish to popularity and local fame within the town. If that doesn’t meet your fancy, there are other wholesome pub dishes such as bangers and mash (mashed potatoes and English sausages), shepherds pie and fiery rubbed loin pork chops.
On top of it being a great place to get a meal or a drink, its atmosphere, decor and all around vibe is unique and should be experienced. It is not a small hole-in-the-wall type restaurant, nor is it a big, fast eatery. The restaurant is big, as there are four main dining areas, but it also can be seen as small and cozy in how it presents itself. The lighting is perpetually dim to give off a mellow tone, and the art on the walls is fitting and pleasant, albeit sometimes provocative, as all good art is. On top of this, Sharon and Chris are overwhelmingly familiar faces in the town, and love to float around their establishments, saying hi and making people feel comfortable and happy.
It seems the employees have absorbed some of this amiability, as they are a huge reason why many of their patrons are so loyal to the restaurant. Former employee at the restaurant, Isaac Anbar, only confirmed this theory. “Working for Sharon and Chris, you do feel a responsibility to make the best employee out of yourself that you can,” said Anbar. “People come to Egan’s looking for a best in the town experience, and I think it’s an effort from the whole staff at Egan’s to ensure that happens.”
The restaurant is fast becoming a main attraction in Montclair, if it hasn’t become on already. People from out of town and even out of state have come to Montclair and had Egan & Sons‘ as the first place on their list to go.