Indoor Dining Begins In Hoboken: Which Places Are Ready?

Emilee Geist

HOBOKEN, NJ — After Gov. Phil Murphy announced early Monday morning that limited indoor dining would be allowed in the Garden State starting Friday, the city of Hoboken issued its own rundown of the rules on Thursday, with added recommendations.

In a Nixle alert Thursday, the city said, “Earlier this week, Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order permitting restaurants and bars to re-open at 25 percent capacity as of Friday at 6 a.m. According to the Executive Order, the following rules and regulations have been established for restaurants:

  • No consuming of beverages or food while standing

  • Food and beverages must be brought to tables by wait staff to seated customers

  • 25 percent capacity, excluding employees

  • Seating limited to 8 customers per table

  • Minimum of six feet of distance between chairs between tables

“Following the state’s guidelines,” the city added, “we are also recommending that restaurants keep doors and windows open whenever possible, and to use fans to improve ventilation indoors.”

On Wednesday, David Carney, the general manager of the Madison Bar and Grill uptown, said, “After not being allowed to open for so long, and with the numbers so low in New Jersey, the real guidelines should be, put as many tables and chairs in your place as you can with the 6 feet guidelines in place. That would make much more sense … but common sense is not so common these days.”

The restaurant has maintained an outdoor presence on the corner of Fourteenth and Washington Streets, and plans to offer indoor dining Friday too.

Court Street restaurant posted on Instagram that it’s ready also, and requires reservations.

Hidden Grounds Coffee, which has shops in Hoboken and Jersey City, wrote on social media, “Maybe there will be an expectation from our customers to be seated inside, but we have to be transparent here: We are not ready. Our employees are not ready. Yes, we are struggling as a small business and boy we could really use some form of normalcy inside the stores. We are just not willing to put our customers and our employees at risk. We are keeping ourselves rigorously updated with all the scientific data and working tirelessly to figure out the safest way to do this but it will take a bit of time … Our stores have outdoor seating you can enjoy and we are willing to provide free unlimited ice-cold water and WiFi for the inconvenience.”

If you’re a restaurant opening for indoor dining, or adding outdoor dining, leave a comment below.

Heat for outdoor dining in winter

The city also said it’s looking at how to heat outdoor dining spots, like parklets and steateries, and extending those options into the next year, “given the limitations on indoor capacity and safer environment of remaining outdoors.”

The city said, “I thank the vast majority our business owners for taking appropriate precautions during the pandemic. If residents have feedback regarding any situation where they may feel unsafe, please email [email protected]

Summer and Open Streets

In partnership with the Hoboken Business Alliance, the city is continuing its “summer” and “open streets” on Thursday through Sunday so that people can enjoy outdoor dining on certain blocks.

Thursday and Friday:

  • 14th Street between Bloomfield Street and Hudson Street is closed to vehicular traffic for “summer streets” (socially distant outdoor dining), 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

  • Sinatra Drive between Newark Street and Fourth Street – vehicular traffic will be restricted

Saturday and Sunday:

  • Washington Street between 1st Street and 7th Street will be closed to traffic for an “open street” 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. cross streets remain open to traffic (“No Parking” signs will be placed at the cross streets, which will be open to delivery drivers and customers picking up food and goods for up to 15 minutes)

  • First Street between Garden Street and Washington Street will be closed to traffic, 11 a.m. – midnight

  • Sinatra Drive between Newark Street and Fourth Street – closed to vehicular traffic all day

To read more about outdoor dining in Hoboken, click here.

To read more about Summer Streets, click here.

Gyms and amusements

Gov. Murphy also recently signed an executive order allowing gyms, health clubs, and indoor amusement facilities to reopen at 25 percent capacity effective Sept. 1.

Equipment must be adjusted to allow a minimum of six feet of distance, and must be sanitized between uses. Everyone must wear masks. More details can be found here.

Helping the homeless shelter

The Hoboken Shelter has made the decision to move its annual HoBOOken 5K fundraising event online. The virtual activities planned for the event include a t-shirt design contest, virtual costume contest, a virtual scavenger hunt for kids, and more. All proceeds from the event benefit the Hoboken Shelter, which serves 530 meals daily, 1,000 showers weekly, and sheltering 50 people nightly. For more information on the event and to sign up, see https://runsignup.com/Race/NJ/AnyCityAnyState/HoBOOken5K.

Hoboken coronavirus count

  • Hoboken has suffered 31 fatalities from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. The last fatality was in May.

  • On Thursday, the city said that the Hoboken Health Department has confirmed the following new COVID-19 cases: Aug. 29: 0 new cases, Aug. 30: 4, Aug. 31: 0, Sept. 1: 1, Sept. 2: 1. The Health Department was also provided with an additional 14 covid-19 cases to add to Hoboken’s total that were only recently provided to the city due to a reporting issue at one of the labs. The 14 cases were Hoboken residents testing positive since Aug. 10, over a span of 21 days. Thus:

  • Hoboken’s total of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic is currently 718 known, confirmed cases.

  • The city said that 667 of those residents have been identified as having fully recovered from COVID-19. They clarified that the number is related to visible symptoms and may not account for long-term damage.

  • Over the weekend, New Jersey’s total death toll climbed to 14,153 after four confirmed deaths were announced since the day before. The state also announced 388 new confirmed positive cases, bringing the total cases since the beginning of the pandemic to 191,611.

  • However, this daily death rate has declined since back on April 30, when it reached a peak of 460 residents in 24 hours, or one person every three minutes.

  • Many other states’ death rates reached records in July (see the daily totals in each state here), and had to pull back on some of their reopenings. New Jersey has asked people to quarantine if returning from 31 states.

  • More than 176,000 Americans have now died of coronavirus, and more than 5.6 million have tested positive.

  • More than 900 health care workers have died of the virus nationally. Others are simultaneously fighting misinformation as they try to fight the virus.

SCHOOLS

  • The Hoboken public schools are slated to reopen Monday, Sept. 14 remotely, and then Sept. 21 on-site for those who requested it.

  • The district has offered a reopening plan giving parents a choice of either full-time on-site learning (until 3 p.m.) or full-time distance learning. In the buildings, there will be restrictions, such as kids wearing masks and maintaining a 6-foot distance.

HOW TO GET HELP WITH HEAT, RENT, AND MORE

  • During the State of Emergency in New Jersey, no tenant is permitted to be evicted from their home or apartment for the inability to pay rent. Talk to your local mayor’s office if you are experiencing difficulties.

  • The CARES act has made money available to help with rent in each city. More information is here.

  • New Jersey residents can get help with heating and energy bills. Information is here.

  • Various other avenues of relief and benefits have also been made available, including family leave for 12 weeks if you can’t work due to your child’s school or camp being closed, and changes to unemployment rules to help those who were at a job for a short time, or freelancing.

LONG-TERM CARE

  • New Jersey residents have become alarmed at the high number of residents who have passed away in nursing homes, rehabs, and similar facilities. The state announced plans in May to increase testing at some long term care facilities and to bring in the National Guard to help make changes.

  • The state released death toll statistics for long-term care facilities like rehabs and nursing homes. See the list here.

  • You can report problems with long term care facilities here, or if you suspect coronavirus related misconduct, here.

  • Some New Jersey long-term care facilities reopened for limited visits, with precautions, in July.

  • Other states have been dealing with nursing home deaths more recently, including a recent outbreak in a Texas nursing home.

Here are statewide coronavirus resources:

  • NJ COVID-19 Information Hub: https://covid19.nj.gov/

  • General COVID-19 questions: 2-1-1

  • NJ COVID-19 hotline: (800) 222-1222

Got news? Email [email protected] To be the first to get news alerts with breaking stories in Hoboken, or to get a free local newsletter each morning, sign up for Patch breaking news alerts or daily newsletters.

This article originally appeared on the Hoboken Patch

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