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Long Branch officials help restaurants, shops prepare for reopening

Long Branch businesses are preparing to reopen after months of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Jun 14, 2020, 1:31 PM

Updated 1,443 days ago

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Long Branch businesses are preparing to reopen after months of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Phase Two begins Monday and city officials are ensuring that local restaurants and shops have the necessary permits to allow outdoor services.
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As part of the reopening process, Long Branch has agreed to close certain roads on weekends including Brighton Avenue and areas of Pier Village to accommodate outdoor dining.
Susan Kelley is the manager for Charleston Shoe Company at Pier Village. Her store shut down for over five weeks during the coronavirus pandemic.
She says she tried curbside pickup, but it wasn't effective.

On Monday, Kelley’s store will reopen at a temporary Shoe Shack, within feet of her parent store. She says this will allow for more of an open-air shopping experience.

"Women like to touch it, to see it on the floor, see what certain colors look like and now that we are open they can do it again," Kelley says.
She adds that she hopes to capitalize on increased traffic in the area as phase 2 reopening also gives restaurants the green light to begin outdoor dining.

City officials in Long Branch are helping local businesses by shutting down certain streets using barriers. The goal is to allow for more outdoor dining space.
Long Branch Mayor John Pallone says in a statement, "Our philosophy has been to work with our restaurants as much as we can. We encourage and want a comeback for our business community."
City leaders also allocated numerous parking spots at Pier Village for restaurant seating.

Tim McLoone, who owns several restaurants throughout the state, says he had to lay off nearly 700 staff members because of the coronavirus shutdown. He says looks forward to hiring hundreds back, but still has concerns about variables like the weather.
"Right now it's not sustainable. It's just not the business model, does not work for any restaurants, but the fact that we are at least doing this tomorrow is a great, great start for us," says McLoone.
Portions of Brighton Avenue will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m starting June 19. The closures run from Ocean Boulevard to Sairs Avenue.


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