HOBOKEN, NJ - Hoboken’s renowned hospitality industry remains a vital concern to the socioeconomic health of our region. The City Council recently approved an extension of outdoor dining, while the Hoboken Business Alliance has been conducting an ongoing campaign to develop more space for local businesses. In turn, the City of Hoboken released specific guidance on Wednesday for restaurants hoping to outdoor dining for winter months.

“Hoboken is doing everything possible to facilitate socially distant outdoor dining options for residents to enjoy,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “We are committed to working with our businesses to continue keeping as many people as possible outdoors in a safe and comfortable environment during upcoming winter months. Thank you to the City Council for working with my administration on these important initiatives.”

Guidelines were provided on safe, outdoor heating options, application information for existing businesses to continue parklets and streateries, and procedures on snow removal.

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“Happy to see these details finally provided to our businesses for outdoor dining and commerce," said Hoboken Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher. "Hopefully with these and the timing extensions through 2021 approved by the City Council last month, Hoboken businesses will have a greater chance of surviving through the pandemic.”

The City is permitting both electric and propane heaters for outdoor dining with approvals from the Building Department (electric) and Fire Department (propane): 

Propane heating 

  • Propane or any other heater with an LP cylinder requires a permit from the Hoboken Fire Department. 
  • Heater cannot be placed within 5’ of building, under an overhang or canopy, or within 5’ of anything combustible. 
  • Fire extinguisher must be located within 25’ of heater. 
  • Patrons must not interact with heater. 
  • Heat tank cannot be stored inside or within 10’ of the establishment (heater can, but tank must be removed). 
  • Heater must be removed during storms or snow events. 
  • Heater must automatically turnoff when tipped over. Tip drill shall be performed to ensure safety. 
  • Heater must be UL listed with classifications and safety instructions from manufacturer. Personnel must understand the functionality of the heater. 

 Electric heating

  • Electric heater requires approval from the Hoboken Building Department. 
  • Fire extinguisher must be located within 25’ of heater. 
  • Patrons must not interact with heater. 
  • Heater must be removed during storms or snow events. 
  • Heater must be UL listed with classifications and safety instructions from manufacturer. Personnel must understand the functionality of the heater. 

Structures and seasonal canopies

  • Per EO 163, “food or beverage establishments are permitted to offer in-person service at outdoor areas, defined as open air spaces that either 1) have no roof or cover or 2) have a fixed roof or temporary or seasonal awning or cover, with at least two open sides that would comprise over 50 % of the total wall space if the space were fully enclosed.” 
  • Shade, seasonal canopies, sheds, or other structures more than 50% enclosed would be considered indoor dining. 
  • Temporary “pop-up” seasonal canopies less than 10’ x 10’ do not require a permit. Larger canopies require approval from the Hoboken Building Department and Hoboken Fire Department. 
  • Seasonal canopies must be removed during storms or snow events. 
  • Structures may remain during storms or snow events, if approved by the Building Department (i.e., for wind loading and weight of snow). 

Additionally, based on feedback from residents, the City has established the following regulations to limit local noise impacts:

  • No DJs and no amplified music, broadcast announcements or speakers are allowed in outdoor dining areas including sidewalk cafes, streateries, parklets, and Summer Streets. Live acoustic music is permitted until 10 PM. 
  • All outdoor entertainment should end by 10 PM. 
  • TVs and projectors are allowed but must be on mute. 
  • TVs and projectors cannot be permanently attached to the structure, and must be returned inside at the end of the day. 
  • Sound from indoor speakers or entertainment should not be plainly audible beyond the property line. 

The City asks any business which would like to apply for a new parklet or streatery to do so by October 1, 2020. All businesses with an existing parklet and streatery should reapply for a permit by October 31, 2020, which will permit the parklet and streatery through December 31, 2021.

"We are excited to see the City working together with local businesses, finding a way to move forward until the State offers new guidelines on indoor dining," said Greg Dell'Aquila, of the Hoboken Business Alliance.

For all applications, full guidance, and additional information regarding outdoor dining in the winter, and contact information for businesses to reach City staff, please click here and visit the business recovery home page at http://www.hobokennj.gov/businessrecovery

Hoboken has approved over 50 streateries and parklets citywide since outdoor dining returned in June. Back in March, Hoboken was among the first in the nation to shut down bars and restaurants in the face of the COVID threat.

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