WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey businesses are welcoming the easing of restrictions. Many of them have struggled over the past year to make ends meet.
The move planned for next Monday has now been moved to Friday, as bars happily and hopefully welcome back happy hour.READ MORE: Seven Years After Her Disappearance, Still No Traces Of What Happened To Amanda DeGuio
“What’s a bar without bar guests, really?” said Scott Kronberger, director of operations at Cinder Bar in Williamstown.
Not much, Kronberger. Not much. The director of ops at Cinder Bar in Williamstown is simply excited to get the pine back in play.
“It’s important in the sense that when you walk into a restaurant it has a big bar and you see people sitting around that bar, it brings energy to the building,” Kronberger said.
“These are the most aggressive steps we have taken to reopen to date, and we feel confident that we can do this safely,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.READ MORE: Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley Resigns Over Mishandling Of Remains Belonging To Victims Of 1985 MOVE Bombing
Murphy announced at his COVID-19 briefing beginning Friday, May 7, indoor bar-side seating can resume in the Garden State, provided restaurants and bars allow 6 feet of distance between groups or separation via partition.
“We are counting on restaurants and bar owners to enforce this guidance and prevent congregating at the bar, as we have warned all along that those situations present a higher danger of allowing the virus to spread,” Murphy said.
The bottom line won’t greatly benefit, Kronberger says. But a planned expansion of capacity, expected from the state on May 19 and more socialization will.
“I’m just happy to get people at the bar, if we have to social distance that’s OK. It’s a step in the right direction. Hopefully, in the near future, we won’t have that limitation and we can just get back to normal,” Kronberger said.
An obstacle that continues to hurt the Cinder Bar and many other restaurants as capacity expands is hiring.MORE NEWS: 2 Young Unresponsive Children Rushed To Hospital After Mother Jumps Out Window, Philadelphia Police Say
Like many others, they say they’ve tried getting creative to hire employees, including signing bonuses, but have been unable to fill positions.