Bars at the Jersey Shore put on notice by Gov. Phil Murphy

Katie Katro Image
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Bars at the Jersey Shore put on notice by the governor
Murphy threatened to shut bars down if they continue to attract big crowds with no masks and no social distancing.

WILDWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- As we approach another weekend at the Jersey Shore, bar owners have been put on notice.

Earlier this week, Governor Phil Murphy threatened to shut them down if they continue to attract big crowds with no masks and no social distancing. Now, bars and patrons are trying to adjust.

"It's a struggle every day," said Tom Gerace, the owner of Shamrock Beef and Ale, Club Amnesia and Cast Away's Pirate Bar.

Many bar owners at the Jersey Shore are trying to stay afloat, but according to Murphy, it seems some patrons aren't helping, looking at scenes from this past weekend where customers can be seen not social distancing outside multiple bars.

"Numerous examples of bars that may have been trying to do the right thing once patrons got in, but whose lines were filled with people, particularly young people, who were neither being kept socially distanced or wearing masks," said Murphy.

The crowds continued into Monday. 6abc's Down at the Shore Cam caught people not socially distanced on Wildwood's boardwalk.

Bars welcome the people, like Cast Away's, whose owner is knocking down walls from its adjacent club to make room for more people to dine out.

"Always the problem is the jam up of people coming up to the bar, trying to get a drink, so to alleviate the problem once we open this up, we'll have one of our security guys usher people in to the bar, and back outside," said Gerace.

Many vacationers Action News spoke with stressed the importance of following the governor's guidelines.

"All the bar owners, restaurant owner, are bending over backwards to accommodate us to make money for their families," said Kathy Cassidy, from Mount Laurel. "The workers that are in there, they are sweating profusely, they're wearing the masks, they're abiding by the rules, why can't everyone else."

"You got to be responsible, it has to be up to the individuals," said Rich Prager. "We're all adults, you got to do the right thing and support your business, that's the bottom line, without our business there's no economy."