State denies Morristown mayor’s request to close parts of street to help businesses with outdoor dining space

Restaurants all across New Jersey are preparing for outdoor dining, but some don't have access to a lot of space. In Morristown, Mayor Tim Dougherty has been trying to help its restaurants by closing down parts of street, but the request has been denied.

News 12 Staff

Jun 8, 2020, 4:09 PM

Updated 1,410 days ago

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Restaurants all across New Jersey are preparing for outdoor dining, but some don't have access to a lot of space. In Morristown, Mayor Tim Dougherty has been trying to help its restaurants by closing down parts of street, but the request has been denied.
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A place like Swiss Chalet Bakery is in a sense lucky that the sidewalk is wider on their part of South Street because in a week, they’ll have many more tables outside.
But for other restaurants, that is not the case.
Restaurants, bars, and cafes line South Street, but the space outside them, the sidewalk, for the most part is pretty narrow, and roads in the town can’t be shut down unless the state grants permission.
Mayor Dougherty asked the state to close down parts of the street to help its businesses have space to actually have outdoor dining come June 15. The state responded, and it said no.
“It would’ve helped us a lot because we have one of the bigger restaurants and even places in Morristown so being limited to having 20 only outside compared to 80 inside, that’s a big difference,” says Ray Ulfat, manager of the bakery. “We wish they would’ve taken into consideration, that there’s on my limited space in the sidewalk.”
Mayor Dougherty has been doing daily Facebook Lives, highlighting the town’s restaurants to help bring them much-needed business.
Allowing for outdoor dining is part of the state’s next phase in opening up, but for restaurants that don’t have sidewalk space, and if they don’t have permission to close down parts of the road, it’s still going to be a tough road ahead.


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