Jersey shore businesses adapting, customers showing support on Memorial Day weekend

OCEAN CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Gloomy skies and rough waves made for an unappealing beach day on Sunday at the Jersey shore.

On the Ocean City boardwalk, it was less crowded, making social distancing much easier this Memorial Day weekend.

Some were critical of people's COVID-19 behavior but overall there were no major complaints.

Some businesses on the boardwalk say even amid the pandemic, the crowds made it still feel like a holiday weekend.

"From our perspective, we're still doing a lot of curbside pick up and delivery. We are doing a much better business over the front counter, people like the individual slices and everyone's going to great lengths to wear their masks and use their safety precautions," said Chuck Bangle, co-owner of Manco and Manco Pizza.

"It's insane. I don't know how many people are out here today. I didn't expect this at all. We were thinking - because we went to Atlantic City and it was like a dead city, nobody out - we came over here and we were like, 'Wow,'" said Yarotza DeJesus of Newark, New Jersey.

In Margate, traffic was light for a holiday weekend, but it was busy downtown.

At Johnny's Cafe and Shucker's Bar & Grille on the same stretch of Ventnor Avenue, the owners are also operating take-out but are waiting for the green light to dine al fresco.

"If we could have the street blocked off where the commercial section is just for a couple of weeks until it breaks, then have some tables in the street," says Giovanna Liccio, the co-owner of Johnny's.

Playgrounds, rides, arcades, picnic areas and water play equipment remain closed at this time.

Earlier this week, Governor Phil Murphy eased restrictions on outdoor gatherings from 10 to 25 people.

The governor stressed that he does not want the public to become complacent.

Capacity will also be raised to 25 individuals for charter and fishing boats, outdoor batting cages, driving ranges, and other outdoor recreational businesses.

"However, social distancing must be adhered to. Organized gatherings, for example, must include clear demarcations for attendees and we strongly recommend that everyone continue wearing face coverings," Murphy said.

Indoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people.


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