At the end of the month, Sharon Egan and Chris Egan will open an Egan & Sons gastropub in Charleston, South Carolina, a long way from their two Egan & Sons in Montclair and West Orange.
“There’s a huge restaurant boom going on there,” says Sharon about Charleston. “It’s amazing. It’s like a foodie mecca.”
Then again, so is Montclair. Sharon would be quick to second that. A lot has changed here since Sharon and Chris — then a married couple (they divorced in 2010, but remain tight business partners) — opened the Montclair Egan’s in 2005, their first restaurant. Fine dining has flourished. Diner savvy has cultivated.
Along with the two Egan’s Irish pubs, Sharon and Chris run Halcyon Brasserie next door to the Egan’s on Walnut Street in Montclair. All three of the nightspots are infused with the time the Egans spent in Dublin, Ireland, from 1987 to 2001. There, with Chris’ family, they ran a popular neighborhood pub called Bruxelles, among other bars.
Inside the Egan’s in Montclair, Sharon proudly points out pieces of décor and notes from where in Ireland they come. All the artwork, for instance, is from the Dublin pub. “That’s why this is not just another bar,” she says.
On a weekday afternoon, Sharon buzzes about the pub. She’s just emerged from a meeting with the chef. Wearing a leopard-print blouse, she greets a visitor, pours a cup of coffee, ambles to the dining room, and sits down.
Baristanet: How long have you been in Montclair?
Egan: I was born here. Born and bred. Montclair High, graduated 1978. All my family, my parents, uncles, everybody, we’ve been here for years. We’ve had somebody on the police force for over a hundred years. I’m a townie.
Baristanet: How have you seen Montclair change over the decades? Continue Reading