BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - As outdoor and indoor dining finally returned to New Jersey, Governor Livingston students and staff were able to get out to their favorite restaurants again after dining options became limited due to the pandemic.

With the reopening of restaurants for outdoor dining, many people were excited to be able to eat out again. And those who were tasked with preparing dinner were excited to be relieved of the stress of what to make for dinner each night. 

Lisa DiMaggio, a Spanish teacher at Governor Livingston High School, said, “I was happy because I was literally a chef all day on top of trying to do classes. I was so sick of hearing ‘what’s for dinner?’ and so I was so happy.” 

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“It got to a certain point that as a mom I had to set a menu. Only Monday, Wednesday, Friday you can have a hot breakfast. I can’t be doing this every day. I’m not a diner,” she added.

However, for students, outdoor dining had a different appeal. No matter the reason, many people enjoyed being able to get outside and eat food that wasn’t from home. 

Sophomore Kelly Hanratty said, “I really liked outdoor dining. It was kind of boring just eating at my house every single day.” 

While outdoor dining has become very popular and people are comfortable with doing it, indoor dining is completely different. 

“I have certainly seen a lot of people do outdoor dining, there’s been only a little bit of people doing indoor dining,” junior Aidan Dike said.

With New Jersey being the last state to allow indoor dining, many New Jersey citizens were hesitant. Based on the natural air flow many people prefer to eat outside than inside. 

Dike said, “I would prefer outdoor, but I wouldn’t mind indoor if there was air circulating in or if I was near an open source of fresh air”. 

While outdoor dining is popular now, The uncertainty in weather has caused many restaurants to worry about the colder months.”

Hanratty said, “I will stop outdoor dining at the end of October because that’s when it starts to get pretty cold.” 

Currently, many towns in New Jersey are looking to allow outdoor dining through the winter by permitting outdoor heating and other measures. With these measures, New Jersey residents may be having a winter dining experience that they haven’t been able to have before.