At this point, we’ve all heard the news. Governor Phil Murphy announced that September 4th is the day that restaurants may resume indoor dining, movie theaters can fire up their projectors and other indoor recreation facilities (think bowling alleys and performance theaters) will once again be welcoming families and those looking for a little fun. This is what we know. But what can we expect this new normal to look and feel like? How can we keep these establishments open and thriving?
Here’s some of the fine print associated with the reopening:
- Indoor dining & entertainment is restricted to 25% capacity or 150 people – whichever is less.
- Tables will be limited to parties of 8 unless all diners live together.
- Masks must be worn while being seated and anytime that you get up from your table.
- Dance floors are closed (inside and out).
- Reservations with a phone number are encouraged for contact tracing.
- Recreation facilities will require masks and limited capacity, as well as social distancing.
Here are a few things to consider before heading out:
- The owners and staff did not choose this. Don’t harass them.
- It’s new. It’s not, but it is. So be patient as they adjust to their new normal.
- Bars may be offering seating with plexi-glass partitions. Don’t reach around, duck under or complain. If you find yourself on a bar stool, consider yourself lucky.
- A lot of these establishments are already understaffed due to Covid-19. Splitting their staff up for indoor and outdoor seating will mean that you might have to be extra patient (see tip #2)
- Remember that, politics aside, when you choose to break the rules, the only people that suffer are the establishment owners. They are the ones that have to enforce the rules, or worse, are reported for their customers not following the rules.
For the record, I survived most of my adult life through the service industry. I have been a banquet server at the Flanders, the Mays Landing Country Club and other wedding venues, handed out towels & frozen drinks at the Ritz Carlton, and driven the beverage cart at Harbor Pines. I’ve bar tended at a private yacht club in the Caribbean & at St. Georges Pub in Brigantine and been a waitress at some South Jersey institutions, including Maynard’s. I write this with no other perspective. With that being said, this is the moment that we’ve all been waiting for people. I don’t know about you, but I have a bar stool that’s waiting for me and there’s no need to delay this any longer! So, stay calm, be kind, wear a mask and tip big.
Looking for a few suggestions?
FOR AMAZING BAR SERVICE:
Check out DiOrio’s in Somers Point. The bar is set up with plexi-glass that hangs from the ceiling to separate you from the bar tenders and seats are socially distanced. Plus, the bar tenders are on point. I won’t list them all here, but any one you run into behind the bar will make you happy to be back on a stool. Not to mention, the food is great and they have sports on all of their TV’s.
FOR A “MICRO WEDDING” OR PRIVATE PARTY:
Did Covid force you to cancel the wedding of your dreams? Book with Breakwaters at the Dunes in Sea Isle. The venue is breath taking, the menu is fun and creative and their attention to detail can’t be matched! They can accommodate 50 people at their micro events. Stay tuned for a future article about your holiday party options at Breakwaters as well! For more information click here: https://www.breakwatersseaisle.com/?fbclid=IwAR2QgDf0wAGHnCndyAMM4tl-6JA2UtYnw0yoUW1OWoAavtN_NRCbe7LCo64
*Our featured image is of the indoor set up for Beachwood at the Dunes, the sister property of Breakwaters. They will be seating this room for indoor dining, and have bar service as well starting Friday. They are worth checking out!
FOR A FAMILY FUN NIGHT:
You can’t beat the DiDonato Family Fun Center. Not only do they have a beautiful bowling alley, but they feature a frozen beer tap inside & fireplace outside. Their menu isn’t your traditional bowling alley hot dog either. They’re serving up mouthwatering dishes like short rib mac & cheese and an ahi tuna bowl. With 26 professional-grade bowling lanes and other activities, personal servers are available throughout the restaurant & center to grab you next cocktail or dish! For their menu and more info click here: http://didonatofuncenter.com/alley-bar-grille/
Covid-19 reopening details in this article were gathered from the Official Site of the State of New Jersey, Covid 19 Reopening Restrictions. For more details, please follow this link: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/reopening-guidance-and-restrictions