NEW JERSEY (CBS) – Today restaurants in New Jersey can once again serve customers indoors. The restaurants will be limited to 25% indoor capacity. Tables must be at least six feet apart and customers required to wear masks unless they’re eating or drinking.
A lot of people in New Jersey have been waiting for this day. Families continue to enjoy outdoor dining, but indoor dining is finally back and people couldn’t be more excited.
Inside Monarch Diner, patrons have been showing up since the doors opened at 8 a.m. Friday.
Some say there’s nothing like sitting inside one of their favorite establishments for a well-deserved meal. Especially those who aren’t keen on sitting in the open while enjoying a meal.
At Monarch Diner, safety protocols are in place. Indoor dining capacity is 25%, so lots of social distancing. You have to wear a mask outside of when you’re eating, there’s touchless payment processing and plexiglass dividers.
To make up for limitations, owners have extended their hours and have brought back their bakery with delicious desserts people have been looking forward to.
Both, restauranteurs and patrons alike, welcome indoor dining.
“I think for a little while till’ like early October some people will like sitting outside but me I don’t like outside. I don’t want any bugs in my food,” Frank Evans from Glassboro said.
Monarch Diner & Restaurant owner Paul Tsiknakis said, “Honestly, today is like Christmas morning for us. The excitement that we got on Monday after we heard the news from the governor… I jumped about five feet up in the air so it’s very exciting.”
The announcement came five months after the state shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Murphy had initially said indoor dining could reopen before the July 4 holiday, but changed his mind, citing worsening figures.
Indoor dining resumed right on time as we head into Labor Day weekend and owners at Monarch are expecting a large turnout.