Red Bank to extend outdoor dining, closure of Broad Street during indoor-dining restrictions

Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday that he does not know when the 25% indoor-dining capacity limit will be raised.
This has led some towns and restaurant owners to come up with new ways to supplement the restaurant and service industry.
Much of Broad Street in Red Bank will be cut off to cars through November. Town officials did this to create what is known as “The Plaza.” The street has been turned into a public walkway, lined with tables from various restaurants.
“We want to make it the center of our municipality and I think people have responded favorably,” says Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna.
The street closure will now be in place seven days a week, instead of just Thursday through Sunday as it was before. The plan was initially put into place to help businesses survive the pandemic and to give restaurants ample outdoor space for dining.
“We’re getting more exposure, getting new people,” says Catch 19 owner Dominick Rizzo. “A lot of New Yorkers, being that New York shut down.”
Rizzo says that he is now looking into heat lamps for his outdoor space because the 25% capacity limit barely helps his business survive. There are now 20 tables inside, as opposed to the 42 that were there before. And he says that he is struggling in another area.
“Where we are losing is the bar and the big crowded areas with social distancing, is where we are losing,” he says.
Rizzo says that he is grateful for the Plaza. The mayor says that he is pleased that there is a place for the town to gather.
“It’s created an opportunity for people who are not into the beach to be in an urban environment where they feel safe and there’s entertainment and good food,” Menna says.
It is not known when capacities can increase. The governor has not offered any benchmarks for even 50% capacity limits.