New Jersey restaurants prepare for Sept. 4 reopening of indoor dining

Restaurant owners are preparing for the return of indoor dining following Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement that the practice can resume on Friday, Sept. 4.

News 12 Staff

Aug 31, 2020, 4:13 PM

Updated 1,325 days ago

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Restaurant owners are preparing for the return of indoor dining following Gov. Phil Murphy’s announcement that the practice can resume on Friday, Sept. 4.
The owners say that they are looking forward to the boost in revenue, but some say that they are worried about the 25% capacity limit.
“We are suffering – 25% inside might not save us. It helps for sure,” says Marilyn Schlossbach who owns Langosta Lounge and Pops Garage in Asbury Park.
Schlossbach says that she lost 70% of her revenue this summer due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting restaurants to outdoor dining, takeout and delivery. And she says that things are not going to get much easier.
“The supply chains are now again going to be problematic. We are having problems getting gloves and masks,” she says.
Schlossbach says that she is disappointed that the state has not brought her organization, the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association, to the table for talks. She says that percentage-based limits are not the answer.
“I think it should be social distancing,” she says.
There are also the restaurant employees to think of. Many of them had been on unemployment for three months, including Cherita Duncan, a chef at The Bonney Read restaurant.
“I feel like 25% would be good,” she says.
Duncan says that she is in favor of a gradual reopening and that with indoor dining back in the mix, more service industry workers will return.
But will New Jersey restaurants feel comfortable dining inside? Some say that they will be.
“I think we long to be together, especially with elements at the Jersey Shore,” says New Jersey resident Karen Greifenstein. “You never know when the storms are going to come by.”
But others say that they are still too worried about the virus to eat indoors, making things more uncertain for restaurant owners.
Schlossbach says that small businesses in the state still need help and is calling on the federal government to send more funding to the state.
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