Ocean County Press Release
TOMS RIVER – With more than 3,000 food establishments throughout Ocean County, many restaurants and eateries will be taking advantage of the opportunity to provide outside dining to residents and visitors.
Ocean County is helping to make that happen as it works with municipalities where restaurants are located on county roads.
"Up until now many of these restaurants have been allowed only curbside pickup and delivery due to Gov. Murphy's executive order forcing the closure of restaurants to diners," said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, who is liaison to the Ocean County Engineering Department. "We have received a number of calls from municipalities asking that we help accommodate restaurants located on county roads that want to have outside dining. We want to do everything we can to make this happen safely."
Outside dining is starting up on June 15. The Board of Freeholders can only assist on County roads.
Kelly noted the County has been in discussions with town officials from Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant Beach and Toms River Township to determine the best set up that will allow a good dining experience while keeping everyone safe.
In Toms River Township, the County will allow for the temporary closure of one block of Washington Street, a County road, from Main Street to Robbins Parkway to accommodate outside dining.
In Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant Beach, the County roadways will remain open for the motoring public but will allow for barricades to be positioned to block off the parking spaces along the roadway so people can safely access the restaurants while dining tables will be located on the sidewalk.
"We are working to help our small businesses that have been dramatically impacted financially by the coronavirus," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. "We want to do all we can to accommodate them while keeping safety a priority. Their economic health is the county's economic health. We wish Governor Murphy had allowed for this sooner."
Kelly noted the county will take each municipal request on a case by case basis.
"As of right now we are working with the towns to assist in meeting the needs of these businesses," Kelly said. "It is key to their future and their success."
Ocean County Administrator Carl W. Block said the provisions will not go beyond the coronavirus emergency.