Secaucus has extended temporary outdoor dining.
The town council approved a resolution at the Dec. 14 meeting. Though the council meets in person, the meetings are live streamed, recorded, and posted on the town’s website.
Outdoor dining in winter?
Outdoor dining has proven to be an essential way to increase the number of tables restaurants can have amid COVID-19 restrictions. More tables equals more revenue, which small and local eateries need more than ever. The town council looks to further support small businesses and the local economy by passing the resolution.
Following council approval, outdoor dining will be allowed through March 31.
The town first allowed outdoor dining in June, when it began issuing permits. Since then, the council has extended outdoor dining multiple times; first to October, then to November.
On Dec. 1, outdoor dining was extended until Dec. 14 while plans to accommodate the practice during winter were drawn up. Now, residents can eat outside until the end of March.
On New Year’s Eve, outdoor dining is allowed until 1 a.m. at establishments with a permit. This is dependent on state guidelines, which may or may not change by then.
So far, two restaurants may stay open for outdoor dining in winter, officials said. While they haven’t applied for the permits yet, the two eateries have applied for the inspection of tents used for outdoor dining.
According to officials, tents for outdoor dining must be inspected to ensure they can properly withstand the elements. Heaters must be inspected to ensure they are not a fire hazard and operate safely.
Despite the chances of heavy snow during December, January, and February, outdoor dining remains an important source of additional revenue. Currently, maximum capacity for indoor dining is 25 percent.
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