the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, The 10th District Legislators are echoing the sentiments of restaurant owners who feel Governor Murphy has turned his back on an industry hit hardest because of his extended shutdowns.
Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano are calling out the Governor for dragging his feet and ignoring the cries of the restaurant industry while avoiding a necessary discussion with the New Jersey Restaurant Association on a proper reopening date for indoor dining.
“I don’t understand why our Governor will not speak with the representatives of the food service industry who are more than capable of creating pragmatic ways of operating in and outdoors,” said Senator Holzapfel. “Restaurant owners have suffered for months on end with no plan in place for allowing them to welcome customers indoors. The restaurant owners and the long list of subsidiary industries that rely on them have lost an enormous amount of revenue this summer.”
Restaurants were told they could resume indoor dining at a limited capacity on July 2 only to have the Governor change his mind and rescind his decision. Currently, restaurants are adapting to serving limited clientele outside while adhering to extensive health protocols.
“It has been brought to our attention that the Governor is avoiding the Restaurant Association and any conversations regarding the next phase of reopening indoor dining,” added Assemblyman McGuckin. “Although this industry has been hit hard, the resilience of the business owners to maintain proper health and safety measures has been astounding. However, with the colder weather approaching we are nearing a point where we will begin to see permanent closures if something is not done right now.”
There has been a large public outcry from both the New Jersey Restaurant Association and business owners to demand a phase for reopening be put into motion. In their proposal they have suggested to operate at 25 percent capacity and require guests to be seated while eating and drinking. Bar seating would not be permitted.
“Currently, restaurants are at the mercy of the weather. It’s impossible to plan and even harder to financially stay afloat even during the summer months,” concluded Assemblyman Catalano. “We want to give both the people and the business owners the freedom of choice to open and patronize. It is possible to provide a safe environment to enjoy and dine if the Governor gives them a chance.”