WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Final preparations are underway down the shore to get ready for a not-s0-typical holiday weekend. In North Wildwood, you’ll be allowed to pick up a to-go cocktail and drink it in public, but there’s a catch.
Memorial Day weekend won’t look the same at the Jersey Shore and the North Wildwood mayor is hoping to get back to some sense of normalcy before it’s too late.
“These small businesses won’t survive if they don’t return to some sense of normalcy very, very quickly and I mean within the next couple weeks,” North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello said.
Thanks to Gov. Phil Murphy, bars and restaurants can now sell alcoholic beverages in to-go cups.
North Wildwood noticed an uptick in alcohol consumption in public places and Rosenello says they’ve come up with a way to not overwhelm their police department.
“As a tool to try to manage that, we’re actually designating areas now adjacent to bars and restaurants where it will be legal to consume that to-go cup. We’re not encouraging it, we’re not saying you have to do it there,” he said.
The North Wildwood mayor says this is their way of discouraging the widespread consumption around the beach town.
“It’s an enforcement concern. That’s what we’re dealing with, that’s why we’re trying to get ahead of this, providing designated areas so that we don’t have that widespread open consumption,” Rosenello said.
Keenan’s Irish Pub has been open for business for the last 22 years. Scott Keenan is the owner of the North Wildwood pub and is gearing up for the unofficial start of summer.
“Rum and Cokes, margaritas, our beers will be served in a can, not open. We’ll have frozen drinks that will have lids on them with the straw hole will be taped,” Keenan said.
Keenan says there are rules in place to make sure guests and staff and being kept safe, and to ensure social distancing is being respected.
“Our staff will be wearing masks and everything will be wiped down when people leave the outside venue,” Keenan said.
As the Jersey Shore gets ready to kick start the unofficial start of summer, they’re aware it won’t be like years past.
“Listening to Gov. Murphy about a month ago, we didn’t think there was any shot of a summertime. But now there’s some hope,” Keenan said.