Senator Anthony M. Bucco and Morristown officials are seeking approval for two more weeks of roadside dining along sections of South Street and Speedwell Avenue.
Senator Bucco and Morristown officials are seeking approval from the Department of Transportation for two more weeks of roadside dining along sections of South Street and Speedwell Avenue. (FB/Morristown Partnership)
In a letter to transportation commissioner Diane Guttierez-Scaccetti, Bucco asked for support of Morristown’s request for an extension of on-street outdoor dining permits to Nov. 1. Approval for the street-side tables is set to expire on Oct. 15.
“The small establishments that line these two streets have proven they can safely and responsibly serve customers at curb-side tables,” said Bucco. “Roadside dining has been a lifeline for small, downtown restaurants that don’t have the option of setting up tables in large parking lots.
“With comfortable autumn temperatures and Halloween flavor, October is a big month for downtown businesses in town. Allowing the current dining arrangement to continue through the end of the month will help these small businesses stay afloat and keep their employees working as the winter season approaches.”
In his letter, Bucco wrote: “In light of the successful trial run by these responsible establishments, as well as the patrons who have cooperated in all aspects under the circumstances, I believe granting the extension is justified.”
Bucco has been working closely with Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty since June to allow local eateries to serve customers outside.
New Jersey bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen for outdoor dining on June 15.
“The COVID pandemic has battered the restaurant industry in this state, and small Main Street establishments have been hardest hit,” said Bucco. “I am proud to work shoulder to shoulder with Mayor Dougherty and the Morristown Partnership to do everything we can to support these small businesses that are so vital to the local economy and the downtown area.”
“We feel strongly that now is the time to give the businesses every opportunity to be successful,” said Jennifer Wehring, executive director of the Morristown Partnership. “While the continued phasing of indoor dining permissions is welcome news, we affirm the absolute necessity to simultaneously continue with the outdoor dining expansions currently in place. It is an optimistic viewpoint that additional indoor seating capacity will allow for more patrons in an establishment. In reality, physical space constraints will dictate the businesses ability to set socially distant seating indoors.”
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