But as CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, most restaurant owners say the small increase wont help.READ MORE: Reports Of Small Aircraft In Water Off Long Beach Island Unfounded, Sheriff's Office Says
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Beginning Friday, indoor capacity will increase from 25% to 35% and the 10 p.m. curfew has been lifted ahead of the Super Bowl, but most restaurant owners she spoke to weren’t overly excited about the news.
“I think that’s better for restaurants with bars. We are family restaurant, so the 35% really doesn’t help us,” said Charles Murray, owner of Ferraro’s in Westfield.
NEW: Effective Friday, February 5th, the following may operate at 35% capacity – with a MAXIMUM of 150 individuals:
☑️Indoor performance venues
☑️Indoor gatherings that are religious ceremonies/services, wedding ceremonies, political activities, and memorial services/funerals pic.twitter.com/nFIMRXi4bL
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) February 3, 2021
Murray said he doesn’t get diners past 10 p.m., so that doesn’t benefit his business.
“I think it will help is for parties. If you’re having a party upstairs, and you can get the extra people in there, and you can stay open until 11,” Murray said.READ MORE: New Jersey Named Best State To Live In, According To New Ranking
Others said every little bit helps, but Stephanie Bigmore of Feast Catering said, “Our location is really small, so 35% doesn’t really give us too much.”
Republican state Sen. Declan O’Scanlon said most states are at 50% or higher.
“There’s no correlation between transmission rates,” O’Scanlon said. “There is absolutely a negative correlation of unemployment rates, of bankruptcies, business failures.”
But Gov. Murphy said the slow rollout protected restaurants from the rollercoaster of opening and closing.
“We opened indoor dining responsibly. Never once have we had to reduce capacity. And now, because of your compliance, we can further expand indoor dining,” Murphy said.
Indoor entertainment and recreation venues and personal care businesses can also increase capacity to 35%. However, capacity cannot be greater than 150 people.
CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this reportMORE NEWS: Reopening New York: US Open To Allow Full Fan Capacity At 2021 Tournament
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