‘Let’s face it, we've had a rough year’: New Jersey restaurant owners hope warm weather brings crowds
Many restaurant owners around
New Jersey, including Asbury Park, are hoping with the warm weather,
will return to their outdoor accommodations.
“Let’s face it, we've had a rough year,” says Amy Russo, owner of Toast.
“Everyone's just jonesing. We had a lot of snow. People are jonesing for nice
weather, sun to sit outside.”
Outdoor dining never went
away this winter in Asbury Park, even though the cold and snow tables remained
outside for the hearty. But with a week left before restaurants can open
indoors at 50%, a number of owners are hoping 70-degree weather sets the stage
for a spring preview and busy return outside.
“Oh my God, I am so, so excited to see this beautiful weather and to
serve my customers in outside seats,” says Ada Asghedom, with Ada's Gojjo. “I
have the most beautiful outside seats.”
For many restaurant owners,
spring couldn't come quickly enough, with a cold snowy winter and indoor dining capped at 35%.
“Everybody has had enough
and there are a lot of places that are closed, not so many in town thankfully
but other towns across the state, it's been decimated,” says Russo.
Cookman Avenue will once
again offer a centerpiece of outdoor dining in the food-centric shore city. Kristi
Nesbitt says serving customers in the outside igloos will feel much better at
70 degrees than at the freezing mark.
“We are going to have everybody out here, everybody on
the streets, we will have to work overtime make more drinks than normal it's
going to be great for the town especially after everything that's been going
on,” says Kristi
Nesbitt, with Lola's
Restaurant owners say even at 50% indoor capacity levels, the struggle
to survive will persist. They are hoping for not just a taste of spring, but an
extended period of above normal weather to sweep across the state in the next few