We’re almost becoming desensitized to the news of restaurants and businesses closing due to the pandemic and its associated shutdowns. But I think it’s important that we not get used to this. We need to be aware and just as concerned about all of this economic devastation as we were at the beginning of the pandemic. Because if we start to get used to it, we’ll forget how unacceptable the situation is.

Malls are so much a part of the culture of New Jersey and so are more restaurants. And now two locations of Ruby Tuesday’s the already struggling restaurant chain are closing for good. The Toms River location and the Monmouth Mall location have closed, according to an article in Patch.

Oh boy, do I have memories of Ruby Tuesday at the Monmouth Mall. Ruby Tuesday is where you took your kids after a day of shopping at the mall, one that was actually a family activity. It was kid friendly, but not a kiddy place, if you know what I mean. We parents and kids both enjoyed the atmosphere of Ruby Tuesday. But it was more than that. It was a reward. I remember promising my kids dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s in exchange for good behavior during harrowing shoe or clothing try-on sessions in stores.

The article also reports that on Oct. 7, Ruby Tuesday's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, so the closings are not something unexpected. But it’s just another mark on the tally board of the Pandemic’s business victims.

Ruby Tuesday’s remaining locations are Mount Laurel, Elizabeth, Somerset and Newark Liberty International Airport. Let’s hope for the best for those.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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