ASBURY PARK – Asbury Park is ready for the new challenge: Dining outdoors and having indoor retail amid the coronavirus outbreak.
It's going to require some creativity since not every restaurant or bar has the space to accommodate a lot of outdoor seating. But Asbury Park officials are confident that the town's plan will work.
The town also has backed off a plan to reopen indoor dining after the Murphy administration got a court order to stop it. Read more: Asbury Park Reverses Reopen Plan After Gov. Murphy's Court Order
New Jersey issued rules and guidance for outdoor dining and indoor retail amid the coronavirus outbreak now that Gov. Phil Murphy said that restaurants and bars can resume operations at 6 a.m. on June 15.
- Here's What To Do At NJ Bars, Restaurants Under Coronavirus Rules
- NJ Issues New Rules For Indoor Retail, Shopping Amid Coronavirus
Here is what Asbury Park is doing and requiring:
- Restaurants must comply with all requirements as outlined in Murphy’s Executive Order No. 152 and Executive Order No. 150, including wearing face coverings, remaining 6 feet apart at all times, and not allowing the sharing of physical items by multiple attendees as well as sanitizing items before and after uses.
- City Council has temporarily relaxed existing ordinances and procedures to help businesses, creating a “2020 Outdoor Dining & Outdoor Retail Sales Temporary Permit” to allow for expanded use of sidewalks, public streets and private property, including parking lots, to assist in increasing dining and retail space to mitigate against the required reduction of capacity. For details and to apply for a “2020 Outdoor Dining & Outdoor Retail Sales Temporary Permit”, visit www.cityofasburypark.com/reopen
“As we begin to reopen, it’s important for us to focus on all areas of the city when providing opportunities for our businesses to succeed and for our residents to enjoy their neighborhoods,” said Mayor John Moor. “We will continually assess the plan over the next few weeks as conditions evolve during the pandemic and as we learn about what is working, and what is not, and will make adjustments accordingly.”
Here are more specific plans:
- Expand outdoor capacity through November 30th
- Provide several options for expanding capacity that allow flexibility
- Expanded use of sidewalks
- Use of public streets
- Use of private property/parking lots
- 6-foot separation must be met between tables
Outdoor Dining and Retail
- On closed streets, businesses may utilize contiguous sidewalk and street space
- Pedestrian walkways for pedestrians only
- Must be clear of sandwich boards, planters, host stations and anything else
- At a minimum, chairs must be stored each night – no seating after 10pm
- City deploys barricades for closures and posts no parking signs
- No vehicles would be able to access the closed areas between Thursday 3 p.m. and Sunday 7 p.m.
- Non-motorized vehicles (bikes, scooters) are prohibited from operating through closure area
- Deliveries can be done from side streets or may need to be rescheduled
Events and activities
- Events/large gatherings are prohibited in accordance with governor’s executive orders
- Public art is encouraged but must be removed at the end of each closure period
- No music of any kind is permitted
Food and Beverage
- Restaurants provide reserved table service
- Seating areas must be defined by ropes, planters or decorative barriers
- Last reservation for seating must be no later than 8:30 p.m. – all tables must be cleared by 10 p.m.
- Alcoholic beverages may be served through extension of premises licenses at seated tables ONLY
- NJ State ABC has created a new COVID-19 Expansion
- Permit through ABC’s POSSE Online Licensing System www.nj.gov/oag/abc
- Security plan must be provided by the applicant
- Boardwalk restaurants may resume use of café license space on the Asbury Park Boardwalk – no expansion from previous approvals
- Rooftop outdoor dining is permitted throughout city (if already an established use)
- Other areas with excess property/off-street parking
- Temporary expansion of use for outdoor dining permitted