KENILWORTH, NJ - The day has finally come. As of 6:00 a.m. on Friday, September 4, restaurants may have patrons indoors with capacity limited to 25% and social distancing between tables. Kenilworth's restaurants are thrilled to open their doors once again. Even with the restrictions.

“I feel like this is a grand opening,” Yiota Makkas co-owner of Opa Grill said. “We look forward to our customers returning, and are taking every precaution to look out for your well-being.” Tony, one of the owners of the Kenilworth Diner said “We are excited to offer indoor dining once again in a safe and enjoyable environment. Even if it’s on a limited basis. Outdoor seating is still available for those who want to enjoy the outdoors while they eat.”

Once the global pandemic started, restaurants were only takeout or delivery from March until June when Governor Murphy then allowed for outdoor dining. Restaurants were supposed to open July 2 for limited indoor dining but then a surge in coronavirus cases changed the governor’s decision last minute.

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Under the Executive Order, patrons may only consume food or beverages while seated, and the same goes for placing orders. Seating is limited to eight customers per table, with a minimum of six feet of distance between tables. Also, all restaurants must provide a hand sanitizer station for customers.

Murphy said that any customer who refuses to wear a mask and does not have medical reasoning for doing so, will not be permitted to eat indoors. While not mandated, he also says state health officials are asking customers to keep masks on while waiting for food and drinks. 

As ecstatic as restaurateurs are in Kenilworth, many are advising customers to please call and reserve a table in advance.

“I am delighted to see restaurants open back up today,” Mayor Linda Karlovitch beamed. “We are fortunate to have so many amazing places to dine in the borough. Please come out and patronize our businesses. Share positive reviews, glowing words can only help attract more customers. Now more than ever they need your support.”