A salute to NJ’s restaurant owners and workers
When our governor ordered restaurants and 'non-essential' businesses to close their doors three months ago, no one imagined it would go on this long. No one with common sense or a cursory knowledge of the Constitution or American government could even dream that this would happen, but it did. At first when no one knew what to expect and everyone hoped that the novel coronavirus would not overwhelm our hospital system or wipe out large portions of our population. That didn't happen. That was the extent of the governor's responsibility. Make sure public health didn't collapse and do what he could, legally, to prevent that. He went way beyond that, and the frightened public went along with it. No industry was hit harder with this government overreach than our restaurants in New Jersey.
Finally this week Murphy announced they can reopen to indoor dining on July 2, just in time for the busy July 4th weekend, especially down the shore. After weeks of jumping through bureaucratic hoops, building new spaces, and spending a fortune on outfitting for outdoor dining, some restaurants are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. How many restaurants won't be back ever? The estimate nationwide is thirty percent. But restaurant people in New Jersey are a resilient bunch.
It's tough to run any business here, with over burdening regulations and high taxes, but in the food business, it's even tougher. Most people have no idea of the stress and physical exhaustion that goes into running a restaurant. For those coming back, our hats are off to you, and for those who didn't make it, we feel your pain. Many of those workers and owners deserve our patronage and support. Who would have thought that we'd long for the days when their biggest concern was some idiot who fashions him or herself a food critic would trash a place on YELP? Restaurants will warmly welcome everyone back into their places soon, even those losers.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis' own.
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