Jersey Shore restaurants hopeful about restart to indoor dining

Katie Katro Image
Thursday, August 27, 2020
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy set to allow indoor dining.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy set to allow indoor dining.

CAPE MAY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- There is a potential light at the end of the pandemic tunnel for restaurants down at the shore as New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy may allow indoor dining in a few weeks. However, the question now is, will that be enough to save what's left of the season?

Decatur Street in Cape May has barriers set up shutting down the street so that restaurants can salvage what's left of the summer season with outdoor dining.

"We're ready to roll," said Karen Swan, the general manager of Fin's Bar and Grille in Cape May.

Swan said she's been trying to salvage business for the remainder of the summer season on limited resources, since they can only have customers dine outside.

"Wait times are extremely longer than they would be in the summer. Indoor dining would allow the wait time to come down immensely," said Swan.

Governor Murphy hopes to allow indoor dining before September 14th, if the data continues to stay as good as its been. A date Swan would like to see finalized, so she can start to plan ahead.

"The only downfall of indoor dining is seasonal help, because a lot of the kids are getting ready to go back to school or college or back to their non-seasonal residence," said Swan, "So we may be a little short staffed, we're already short staffed, every restaurant is right now, and that just makes management work longer and harder."

Many people Action News spoke with said they would be ready to finally be dine in again.

"We can't wait for Jersey to reopen indoor dining, it's probably time," said Glen Fine, from West Chester.

Movie theaters would also be given the green light to open at the same time indoor dining would, which some people said made them hesitant.

"For a movie theater, I'd wait a while, I don't think I'd sit in a movie theater right away," said Terry Fine.

Some others said they would take advantage of both, dinner and a movie.

"I think movie theaters would be easy to distance, you just close off rows and cut attendance in half," said Jonathan Sidell, from Silver Spring, Maryland.