Inside Report: Acacia Resturant on Main Street

Mira Ponnambalam ’26 in Features | October 6, 2023

 Main Street and its lively business are a vital part of the Lawrenceville campus and community. From Starbucks to The Gingered Peach, each business has something unique to offer. The restaurants provide students with a break from dining hall food and may also serve as a close getaway for special occasions.
Acacia, an American restaurant, has been located on Main Street across from Lawrenceville for decades. Lauren and Chris Voigtsberger, the owners of the restaurant, have been running the business for the past ten years. The restaurant’s name, Acacia, comes from a species of trees known for its fern-like leaves and clusters of flowers. “We decided to keep [the name Acacia] because…it was in the community for a very long time and we wanted to honor that,” mentioned Lauren Voigtsberger, “it’s been sort of a pillar of the community for a very long time before we were even a part of it… we love this community.” 

 The Voigtsbergers bought the restaurant after only a few years after graduating from their universities. Lauren Voigtsberger has a business and hospitality degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Her husband Chris Voigtsberger attended culinary school and has additional degrees in business and finance. “My husband and I both have a background in hospitality…this came as an opportunity to us, and we decided to go with it and buy the restaurant,” said Lauren Voigtsberger. As the owners of the restaurant, the Voightsbergers handle the daily operations, menus, and ordering ingredients together. They each also have their individual duties. Lauren Voigtsberger deals with hiring new employees, overseeing the current ones, and handling the daily finances. Her husband picks the weekly specials and works as a chef.  

Acacia prides itself on its locally sourced, fresh ingredients features in its seasonal menu. As a chef, Chris Voigtsberger “tries to take those ingredients to come up with something creative that… would do well,” explained Lauren Voigstberger. Some of their most popular dishes remain on the menu regardless of the season. These staples include homemade pastas, the Acacia SmashBurger, and the sweet and sour calamari.  “I would have to say the burger is definitely one of my favorites or our spicy vodka rigatoni,” Lauren Voigstberger mentioned. 

Ambiance and community are as much a part of running a restaurant as serving food is, according to Lauren Voigstberger. “One of my biggest job roles is being connected with our customers… I think one of my favorite things is being able to provide something where people don’t come back just for the food but for the overall experience.” Community has been an essential part of running and maintaining the restaurant. Schools, including Lawrenceville, generate significant business for restaurants on Main Street like Acacia. Support from the local community had helped Acacia get through the pandemic.

 In addition to the typical dinner and lunch, Acacia can also  host events. From baby showers to weddings, Acacia is available as a venue or for catering. Lauren Voigtsberger in particular loves being part of and planning these events. “I enjoy being able to bring someone’s vision to life through the food, through the atmosphere, through the little special touches. I really enjoy making their day a little less stressful,” she stated. 

Running a restaurant can be difficult, but Lauren Voigstberger says she enjoys “the chaos of it all…I’ve always kind of liked doing something that’s not your typical 9:00 AM.m to 5:00 PM.m regular hours. I kind of like being pushed on my feet and I like the idea of being connected with people.” Main Street is full of restaurants like Acacia that Lawrenceville students can easily visit and enjoy.