As the next phase of reopening in New Jersey is set to begin on June 15th, restaurants may obtain a special permit from the Division of Alcohol and Beverage Control in order to serve alcoholic beverages outdoors. While the permit is a step in the right direction, 10th District legislators, Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano feel the $75 permit fee is unnecessary. The legislators have released the following statement against the fee for already struggling bars and restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano want the Division of Alcohol and Beverage Control to waive a $75 special permit fee for restaurants to serve alcoholic beverages outdoors. (Pixabay)
“Restaurants have complied with numerous executive orders and continued to operate under strict regulations for months. They have changed their business models to stay afloat with takeout and curbside pick-up and now we are requiring them to fork over $75 to the ABC just to serve alcohol outside? The state is adding insult to injury and it just seems like an opportunity for an easy money grab from the many restaurants and bars in New Jersey.”
According to the ABC website, limited outdoor service may resume on June 15th and a new permit is available to all licensees with retain consumption privileges. The permit will allow licensees to expand their licensed footprint to nearby property to accommodate social distancing. The onetime $75 fee is required to complete the application.
“Once the reopening begins, restaurants and bars will need to limit the number of patrons at their establishment, meaning less opportunity to turn a profit. Every dollar is crucial to stay afloat and now the state wants to suck another $75 from the carcasses of these bars and restaurants just asking to reopen outside. We want to see this permit fee waived and give these establishments a fighting chance to survive in this new economy.”
All applications must be endorsed by the municipal clerk and police chief and the permit is valid until November 30th.