‘Gut punch’ – Restaurant owners disappointed indoor dining won’t resume any time soon

Restaurant owners across the state say that they are disappointed that indoor dining will not resume this week as originally planned.

News 12 Staff

Jun 30, 2020, 2:28 AM

Updated 1,392 days ago

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Restaurant owners across the state say that they are disappointed that indoor dining will not resume this week as originally planned.
Sun Tavern in Roselle Park had already started preparations to allow patrons back into the dining room. Owner Andrew McCrone says that he laid out money for food drinks and to bring back some of the 45 staff members he had to lay off early on in the pandemic.
He says that Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement Monday afternoon was devastating
“Today was a gut punch for sure,” he says.
Indoor dining was supposed to resume on July 2. McCrone says he was ready to invite 50 people – 25% of the 200-person capacity – for the reopening.
“Is it going to pay my bills that piled up? Most likely not, but it was a restart,” he says.
Across the street, Frenchy’s Bar owner Frank Signorello says that he isn’t as concerned for himself since his restaurant has plenty of outdoor space. He says that he wasn’t planning on going back inside just yet, but he says that he feels bad for other restaurant owners.
“I feel bad for other businesses that don’t have outdoor patios. I feel bad for the restaurant that do want to get opened,” he says.
The governor says that he was forced to halt indoor dining because of a spike in COVID-19 cases in other states and because of “knuckleheads” in New Jersey who were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.
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But some say that it isn’t fair to punish everyone – especially those who are following the rules.
“Those bar owners, hold them accountable. The whole industry is being held accountable for a few and it’s just not right. We can do it responsibly,” McCrone says.
The New Jersey Licensing Association issues a statement Monday saying that most of their members followed the rules and instead of punishing everyone, violators should be shut down or have their outdoor permits pulled.


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