ELIZABETH, NJ - Restaurants with outdoor dining and limited in-person retail are the first businesses that will be allowed to resume operation under Phase 2 of Governor Murphy’s reopening plan that began Monday.

John Savarese, owner of Torna a Sorrento on Westfield Ave, plans on going to city hall Tuesday to get more information on how his restaurant can start getting back to normal.

The restaurant industry was among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some towns have been eager to get back to business as usual, but Elizabeth has been following the lead of the Governor.

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As a few restaurants begin outdoor dining Torna a Sorrento will continue offering take-out for now. “I’ll have to see if it's worth it to get umbrellas and chairs and tables that have to be brought in every night,” Savarese said. “I don’t want to spend $2 to make $1.” 

Phase 2 also allows for non-essential retailers to begin operating at 50% capacity. Ikea, one of the city’s largest individual retail locations will not be opening its doors until further notice. As of Monday only curbside pick-up and delivery are offered.

In a statement from the Office of Public Information city officials highlighted the work and coordination with local businesses that has already taken place to ensure Monday’s openings run smoothly and safely. Adding that practicing social distancing is the responsibility of individuals as well as the city’s inspectors.

For more information on the reopening plan visit the state’s COVID-19 information site.