Indoor dining resumes, movie theaters open in New Jersey

BARRINGTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- For the first time since March, New Jersey restaurants and bars can serve customers inside, with a limit of 25% capacity and other restrictions.

At Time Out Bar and Grill in Barrington, known for its live music, the stage inside sits empty. But just in time for the Kentucky Derby and game 7 of the Flyers playoff series on Saturday, customers can dine and drink inside.

"It's an exciting weekend. We've got bands here all weekend long and we're welcoming everybody back," said manager Robert VanSciver.

While Time Out has expanded its outdoor seating area, and added an outdoor stage, inside at 25% capacity means a limit of 40 people with social distancing, even at the bar.

"So if a couple comes, they can sit together, then you move the next two seats out. If a party of three comes they can sit together, and we move two more seats out," said VanSciver.

Even though some indoor dining is allowed now, Gov. Phil Murphy issued a stern warning during Friday's COVID-19 briefing in Trenton.

"We will not tolerate violations and we will not be afraid to come down hard and make an example of those who think the rules don't apply to them," said Murphy.

In Moorestown, the lunch crowd came to Passiarello's, happy to chow down in the air conditioning. Every other booth was closed to ensure social distancing.

"On a Friday night this place would be packed. 25% is more than enough for us. I feel like customers miss going out to eat," said manager Emilio Lopez.

"It feels awesome, I've been waiting!" said Lori Rodolico of Delran, N.J.

"This is my favorite place," said Rodolico's mother, Delores Burke of Cinnaminson. "And we've been sitting on that porch all summer. It feels good to get inside."

In the mood for dinner and a movie? You can do that too now. New Jersey movie theaters can now open at 25% capacity, with social distancing and mask-wearing - except when eating your popcorn. We found people buying their tickets to see "Tenet" at the Moorestown Regal 12. The Christopher Nolan action film was supposed to hit theaters in July.

"It'll feel good to sit in a seat, put the hood on and just focus on the big screen. I've been doing a lot of on-demand, and that isn't the same," said Brian Wooten of Mount Laurel.
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