Pausing Indoor Dining Is A 'Step Backwards': Basking Ridge Mayor

Alexis Tarrazi

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — "It's disheartening," Basking Ridge Mayor James Baldassare Jr. said of Gov. Phil Murphy's decision to postpone the reopening of indoor dining in New Jersey amid the coronavirus.

Indoor dining had been set to reopen on Thursday until Murphy "hit pause" on Monday due to the spikes in other states, which he says were largely driven by the reopening of indoor dining and bars. Read More: Gov. Murphy Postpones NJ Indoor Dining Reopen Amid Coronavirus

"We were moving forward and now we are taking a step backwards or pausing," Baldassare Jr. said. "No one wants to see things not progress."

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"We understand we must remain vigilant, but things need to move forward — especially for small businesses," Baldassare Jr. continued.

Baldassare Jr. is also a member of The Mayors for Main Street Alliance, which has 19 mayors from four different counties, who are advocating to Murphy for the swift and safe reopening of businesses within their communities that continue to be shut down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Read More: Reopen All Nonesssential Businesses Now: 19 NJ Mayors Tell Murphy

Jack M. Ciattarelli of Hillsborough, who is running for governor of New Jersey for 2022, criticized Murphy's decision to postpone indoor dining.

"These small business owners bought food, hired staff, spent thousands cleaning, preparing, and taking safety precautions. The vast majority of them, and patrons, never violated a word of the restrictions. All to have the rug pulled out from under them [because] of other states? Come on," Ciattarelli tweeted.

As of Tuesday New Jersey has 461 additional coronavirus cases and 47 more deaths bringing the state's total to 171,667 cases and 13,181 confirmed deaths.

The Basking Ridge Business Alliance is "disappointed" that restaurants are not permitted to open indoor dining but is urging the local community to continue to safely support the restaurants and other local businesses throughout town.

"Keep in mind that many restaurants and other local businesses continue to provide delivery, curbside pickup and outdoor dining options. Furthermore, I have seen local businesses step up and do whatever it takes to ensure that proper measures are in place to make for a safe and pleasant shopping experience. We hope that New Jersey residents improve their safety guidelines compliance so that restaurants and other businesses still impacted by the orders can open their doors completely," said President of Basking Ridge Business Alliance Ryan McCloskey.

To support local restaurants in and around Basking Ridge that offer outdoor dining and takeout, check out this list:

  • Alfonso's Trattoria, 99 W Main St, Somerville: Call 908-526-0616.
  • Blue Cafe, 60 S Finley Ave.: Open Tuesday through Sunday. Call 908-766-6100 for reservations.
  • Cafe Rustica, 3188 Valley Road: Open for take-out and delivery. Call 908-647-4240.
  • Copper Kettle, 118 S Finley Ave.: Call 908-766-7680 for reservations.
  • Delicious Heights, 185 Madisonville Rd.: All locations, including in Basking Ridge, are open for outdoor seating. Reservations are now being accepted at all location for parties no larger than 8.
  • Figaro 3 Ristorante Italino, 403 King George Rd.: Call 908-903-1111
  • Grain House, 225 Morristown Rd.: Open 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays for lunch and dinner. In the event of rain, there is a large tented outdoor patio. Reservations recommended call 908-221-1150 or on OpenTable.com. Walk-in guests will be accommodated based upon available seating. Appropriate safety and cleanliness measures based on CDC guidelines are being taken.
  • Mannion's Pub and Restaurant, 150 West Main St., Somerville: Open Monday to Sunday 4 to 9 p.m. Call 908-203-0700.
  • Vine, 95 Morristown Rd.: Open Tuesday through Saturday. Call 908-221-0017 for reservations.
  • Washington House Restaurant, 55 S Finley Ave.: Outdoor Seating opened Monday from 11 a.m. through 10 p.m. A broad menu will be offered all day, with specials as they are available. Call 908-766-7610 for reservations. Walk-in guests are also welcomed. New safety measures will include appropriately spaced tables, disposable menus, individual items like napkin roll-up and condiments and stringent cleaning protocols.
  • Wolfgang Steakhouse, 119 Main St, Somerville: Call 908-541-0344.

Read more: NJ Coronavirus Updates: Here's What You Need To Know; See more stories about New Jersey's coronavirus recovery.

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This article originally appeared on the Basking Ridge Patch