New Jersey bar, nightclub owners want to reopen dance floors, bar seating

The owners of some bars and nightclubs around New Jersey say that they feel left out by recent reopening guidelines.

News 12 Staff

Apr 27, 2021, 9:41 PM

Updated 1,124 days ago

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The owners of some bars and nightclubs around New Jersey say that they feel left out by recent reopening guidelines Gov. Phil Murphy announced this week. Many say that they are trying to prepare for the usually busy Memorial Day weekend crowds.
“You basically bastardized an entire industry – two industries, really – restaurants and bars, and made us seem like the devil,” says Paradise Club manager Joseph Crisci.
Crisci manages one of the largest nightclubs and entertainment spots in Asbury Park. But the dance floor remains empty because of restrictions imposed by the state. Bar seating is also not allowed.
“A lot of our regular customers are not going to come here because they’re not getting the full experience of the pool, the nightlife. It’s a facility that does all kinds of different things,” Crisci says. “When you don’t have major components of it functioning, people don’t want to come.”
The governor is allowing proms and weddings to go on, starting next month. Dancing will be allowed at those events. Murphy said that the calculated risk of such events is less and the environment more controlled than a dance club.
“I don’t know the difference between dancing at a prom. I get they’re not drinking, but at a wedding people are drinking, their inhibitions are definitely down. They’re with family – and that’s where the spread of most of this comes from, with families,” Crisci says.
The owner of the Headliner in Neptune Township tells News 12 New Jersey that in addition to hopefully seeing the indoor dance club area reopening, he wants to see restrictions come down on the outside areas, including social distancing and mask-wearing requirements for vaccinated customers.
“At this point you have to rip the Band-Aid off and get this thing started. Because how is life going to go back to normal? How are you going to feel normal going to a nightclub if you don’t start getting acclimated again?” Crisci says.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday that people who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear masks outside in small gatherings. But it was unclear if that would eventually carry over to crowded settings like nightclubs.


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