Red Bank preps to close streets for outdoor dining
On several local Red Bank social-media sites, it has been suggested that one way to get the Red Bank economy back up and running would be to offer outdoor dining.
In order to socially distance and spread those tables farther apart, what if the outdoor dining footprint could be expanded into some streets by closing them off to vehicle traffic?
I mean, if Times Square can do it, why can't we?
With the new scenario, Broad Street would be closed to vehicular traffic from Front Street to Wallace Street on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and Monmouth Street between Broad Street and Maple Avenue would become a walking-only plaza all day on Sundays.
The borough council has approved this measure so that the Red Bank business district can prepare to act immediately as soon as Gov. Phil Murphy loosens the health emergency restrictions.
Details will be announced shortly regarding the logistics and how exactly this would work, but it is all so very exciting to me as a Red Bank resident who can't wait to get out there and support these wonderful restaurants and shops.
Although the zones mentioned so far don't cover the area of every single restaurant or shop due to safety concerns, the plan could possibly be tweaked in future weeks. But it's a good starting point, for sure.
Alcohol being served outside is a separate issue, though, based on the state Division of Alcohol and Beverage Control rules, so it would surely be great news if we could have drinks served with our meals while we dine al fresco.
Meanwhile, many restaurants in downtown Red Bank are offering curbside pickup, with the town allowing you to park for five minutes in certain areas near the dining establishments in order to get your food. It's called the Quick Pickup Parking Program.