Businesses starting to get back on track in Margate

MARGATE CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Many restaurant owners are thankful that outdoor dining is now allowed in New Jersey.

"This is our restaurant now, we went from 5,000 square feet to 1,900 square feet, but we have a restaurant at least," said Lou Freedman, the owner of Bocca.

To survive this summer, Freedman applied for a permit to close part of Essex Avenue for outdoor dining. It's gotten his business back on track, although its costing him.

"Between the tent, it's about $100 a day," said Freedman, adding, "It's worth it, it's better than nothing."

Margate's Farmers Market opened for the first time today, and they used part of Amherst Avenue so that vendors could have room to spread their tables out.

"Even though it's a little weird with the masks, and the whole thing, but there's a sense of normalcy," said Cookie Till, the founder of the Farmer's Market, who added, "People are grateful that we pursued, and then went forward with doing the market."

While there was plenty of room to keep your distance by the ocean, right off the beach, a special friend just opened up this week after being closed for 107 days.

"People missed Lucy, and Lucy missed them too," said Richard Helfant, the executive director and ceo of Lucy the Elephant.

In-person retail is now allowed in New Jersey, which has greatly helped sales at the Lucy the Elephant gift shop, although the number of customers is limited.

"Instead of allowing 50 people inside Lucy at a time, it's now 25, and the gift shop, we had to cut that down drastically, because the gift shop is very small, so it's only eight," said Helfant.
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.