Summer season booms at the Highlands despite COVID-19 pandemic

Towns that rely on the summer season to stay afloat had a rough time this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But one Monmouth County town actually thrived this season.

News 12 Staff

Sep 12, 2020, 12:30 AM

Updated 1,316 days ago

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Towns that rely on the summer season to stay afloat had a rough time this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But one Monmouth County town actually thrived this season.
Business owners in the Highlands were able to turn the town into a popular summer day destination.
“Our little town here is known for outdoor dining and marinas and boats – summer fun. So, we were able to social distance tables, and customers really responded and came out. It was incredible,” says Bahrs Landing Famous Seafood Restaurant owner Jay Cosgrove.
“Outdoor seating and the weather on our side and what the town did for us really made a big difference,” says Off the Hook owner Nick DiBari.
Town officials worked with business leaders to help promote and accommodate the outdoor dining.
“As mayor of this town, I was not going to let one business fail,” says Highlands Mayor Carolyn Broulion.
Some restaurants did not have an outdoor option when the season started.
MORE: Your New Jersey 'We're Open' Photos
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“We don’t have any outdoor space whatsoever at our restaurant. So, in June when outdoor dining was beginning to open, we met with the mayor to come up with a solution to use her parking lot for our outdoor dining room,” says Porcini co-owner Alexandria Atamian.
Mayor Broulion says that the businesses came together to help each other succeed.
“A lot of folks don’t understand that we pull together as a community,” she says.


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