You already know about spots like The Avon Pavillion in Avon-by-the-sea, The Inkwell in Long Branch and a list of others at the shore or inland closing down.

The reason is big government. Big government's hand in keeping places like these from maintaining, flourishing, or even starting up.

Small mom-and-pop places don't stand a chance.

Some of the higher-end restaurants can be taken over by bigger restaurant groups that own five, six, or a dozen places, but the small individually owned places don't have a chance in New Jersey.

Labor and product costs are huge factors right now.

Whatever small business you want to think of is struggling to find anyone to work, even at today's inflated labor costs.

Once the government shut places down during COVID and the federal government started printing money, the ball started rolling.

Now it's nearly impossible to keep up.

Two years ago, restaurants might pay a hostess $10 an hour and a dishwasher $8 per hour.

Now it's up to $17 for a hostess and $16 for someone to wash dishes.

New Jersey's rising minimum wage enacted into law two years ago is one culprit, but the product cost is on the federal government.

With domestic oil production down significantly from two years ago, fuel costs have skyrocketed and that affects the price of everything.

It's one of the main reasons for inflation at a 40-year high, along with the devaluation of the dollar due to printing paper money that isn't worth as much.

So, while we all gripe about the cost of food, gas or going out for a cup of coffee or dinner, just know that it's not your neighborhood deli or restaurant owner being greedy.


They keep promising more goodies and writing checks they can't cash to get re-elected.

Well, there is an election coming up. Please vote responsibly.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

Every NJ pizza joint Barstool's Dave Portnoy has reviewed

Dave Portnoy, commonly known as El Presidente, is the founder of Barstool Sports. Somewhere along the way, he decided to start reviewing local pizzerias, and the concept took off. Here is every New Jersey pizzeria Dave has stopped in, along with the score he gave them.

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