BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
Thirty-seven Montclair restaurants will be welcoming diners back inside this weekend.
On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that beginning this Friday, Sept. 4, diners will be able to get a table indoors, but in limited numbers, and with social distancing and mask wearing enforced.
With only four days’ notice, BID Executive Director Jason Gleason said Montclair restaurant owners were thrilled with the news, but are scrambling to get their dining rooms ready and staffing increased to open their doors for the weekend.
“I think that with only a four-day turnaround to prepare, restaurants have a tall mountain to climb with respect to ordering products, and finding and training extra staff. But all-in-all we’re ecstatic to have a major piece of our puzzle back,” he said.
By today, Sept. 3, 37 restaurant owners (see list below) told the BID they would be ready for the weekend. More could be added to the list later, said BID officials.
Because the restaurants will be limited to 25 percent capacity, reservations are recommended.
Murphy said state officials are happy the reopening coincided with the long holiday weekend, adding the state would not be taking the step without the confidence that the virus spread had slowed.
Because capacity is limited to 25 percent, reservations are strongly recommended.
Restaurants are urged to have signage posted and taped-off areas to show social distancing. Customers are asked to wait in their cars if the restaurant’s outside area cannot allow for social distancing.
As for ventilation, air conditioners must be positioned to allow intake of outside air, and windows at eateries must be opened to allow for fresh air to enter.
Health screenings of staff will be conducted as they enter for their shift. And staff will be trained in hand washing and sanitizing methods. Cash registers will have physical barriers, and staff must disinfect high-touch surfaces such as condiment containers, menus, tables and credit card machines after each use.
Restaurants that offer dining service at the bar may also serve at the bar, but groups or families must be six feet apart.
New Jersey intended to reopen indoor dining on June 22. However, the decision was reversed due to COVID-19 case increases in states that had decided to allow indoor dining again.
If the state should see a sustained increase in cases and officials determined that the increase could be connected to indoor dining, the order would be reversed, said Murphy.
Restaurants opening indoor dining this weekend:
Ah’Pizz, 7 N Willow Street, 973-783-9200
Antika Grill, 578 Bloomfield Ave., 973-744-1300
Bareburger, 480 Bloomfield Ave., 973-509-2273
Benvenuti, 20 Church Street, 929-389-4535
Broughton Grill, 712 Bloomfield Ave., 973-744-4402
Café Giotto, 42 Church Street, 973-746-0111
Casa Piquin, 537 Bloomfield Ave., 973-744-6839
Chatni, 381 Bloomfield Ave., 973-337-5753
Cocina Candela, 706 Bloomfield Ave., 973-707-7174
Cuban Pete’s, 428 Bloomfield Ave., 973-746-1100
Fascino, 331 Bloomfield Ave., 973-233-0350
Faubourg, 511 Bloomfield Ave., 973 542 7700
Fresco da Franco, 15 Church Street, 973 337 5100
Greek Taverna, 292 Bloomfield Ave., 973-746-2280
Greenleaf’s Eclectic Café, 397 Bloomfield Ave., 973-744-2002
Jacks Seafood Shack, 718 Bloomfield Ave., 201-878-6932
Kung Fu Tea, 375 Bloomfield Ave., 973-744-1647
La Rocca Osteria, 23 Midland Ave., 973-746-0707
Laboratorio Kitchen, 615 Bloomfield Ave., 973-746-6100
Leones, 19 S. Park Street, 973-509-9077
Manhattan Juice Bar and Cafe, 446 Bloomfield Ave., 973 744 4100
Mesob Restaurant, 515 Bloomfield Ave., 973-655-9000
Montclair Diner, 613 Valley Road, 973-746-0911
Montclair Falafel, 16 Church Street, 973-744-0300
Montclair House Grill, 12 Church Street, 973-509-9600
Palazzo Bistro, 11 South Fullerton Ave., 973-746-6778
Proven Poke, 19 Church Street, 973-860-7229
Raymond’s, 28 Church Street, 973-744-9263
Salute 173, Glenridge Ave., 973-746-2380
Sayola, 38 Valley Road, 862-333-4499
Scala Del Nonna, 32 Church Street, 973-744-3300
Sweet Kitchen, 533 Bloomfield Ave., 973-707-2667
Toast, 700 Bloomfield Ave., 973-509-8099
Trend Gallery Coffee & Tea House, 411 Bloomfield Ave., 973-744-1333
Villalobos, 6 South Fullerton Ave., 973-337-6667
Villa Victoria, 11 Park Street, 973-746-4426
Zeugma’s Mediterranean Grill & Wine Bar, 44 S Park Street, 973-744-0074
*List was supplied by Montclair BID and could be updated.