BEACH HAVEN — A concern has been raised by Beach Haven businesses all spring knowing that the Coronavirus pandemic would have impact on income and jobs. The business owners have been hoping that the Beach Haven Borough Council would come to the aid of various restaurants and bars to increase outside seating.
At this current date only pick up or delivery food and drinks orders are allowed to be sold. On Monday, June 15, Governor Murphy is allowing outside dining at social distancing of six feet per person.
Area businesses are taking a huge hit with the loss of income this spring and the loss they will experience this summer.
Bird and Betty's Saga
A few weeks back, we presented the attempt of the Tide Table Group to get assistance for their Bird and Betty's Bar and Restaurant on the bay at Second and Center Street.
The ownership group made deliberate preparations to assist their business. Bird and Betty's presented five different proposals to assist serving the multitudes of expected summer visitors. All of the preparation was to no avail as the Borough Council voted 4-1 to deny the seating relief.
The key for survival was for local government to allow additional space for seating in sidewalk or parking lot areas. This is unique but appropriate considering the historical pandemic our nation has had to endure. It seemed logical to bend the rules to have a solid summer.
This has been a long process for the owners.
The Tide Table Group ownership appeared via Zoom meeting, made a solid presentation a few weeks back and then at the end of that meeting were told to come back the following week so the fire department would have time to make an evaluation. That response was a bit of a surprise considering that it would have been best to have the fire officials look at the plans in advance.
The next meeting took place on June 1. Unfortunately that meeting had to be canceled due to technical difficulties with the Zoom presentation,
Today, June 8, the meeting was again held via Zoom and the decision was finalized. The Tide Table Owners were denied.
After speaking to some of those in attendance, the major reason for the denial was that the police chief, fire department and first aid squads were adamantly opposed to any of the five changes proposed for safety reasons.
The Tide Table Group owns three significant businesses in the Borough. They operate Bird and Betty's, Parkers Garage and the Black Whale. All three of these businesses are going to take a major financial hit this summer. It is unclear if Governor Murphy will lift the social distancing rules this summer.
Bird and Betty's will also face a challenge since much of their business comes from great music at the nightclub. It may not be worthwhile to offer a band when they have to drastically limit people in the establishment.
The Summer of 2020 is upon us. It will be an interesting one.
There are other small businesses in the Borough seeking assistance such as the Gables restaurant and Chicken or the Egg. There is no evidence that those businesses are receiving seating relief at this time.
Long Beach Township leadership has been extremely flexible assisting their businesses. Kubels Too has added a large seating area in their parking lot. The Terrace Tavern has added an outdoor patio. Others businesses have experienced relief.