Although there are hints that we are on the cusp of having our governor waive his magic wand and open indoor dining soon, we can never be sure that restaurants will remain open since the last time he made the same decision, he changed his mind in a huff.

That is why everyone needs to know a couple of good underground restaurants. And I stumbled across one last night by accident. I actually had reservations to eat at this restaurant outdoors, but when I got there the host asked me, in a sort of cryptic way, if I would I like to eat on the “indoor patio.”

“Indoor” and “patio” sounded like an oxymoron to me, but I was up for whatever dining felt more like the normal way. He pointed to a dark side entrance and said, “Just go through that door there.” Guess what I found through that magic doorway?

The restaurant. The actual, bona fide, dyed in the wool, inside of the restaurant. I don’t really understand how they got away with it. I looked around at all the walls to see if anything looked like it was open to the outside, but it wasn’t. I looked around at all the other diners in this indoor space. It looked like everybody was willing to play along just like I was.

Looking back on it, I think that the host saw that because I was not wearing a mask, (I was outdoors, after all) I would probably be amenable to this sort of “secret” arrangement. It was a good call on his part, because had he offered the opportunity to someone else, he may have ended up with a horrible negative yelp review whining about how the restaurant “doesn’t follow CDC guidelines.” So I think that THIS is the answer. Restaurants in new Jersey have to come up with some out-of-the-box ways to bring customers indoors ... just in case Murphy changes his mind again.

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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