WESTFIELD, NJ — A long-awaited restaurant and bar specializing in organic meat is still on track to open, despite coronavirus, the mayor said.

Last week, Mayor Shelley Brindle said the owner of the Bareburger franchise conveyed to her that New Jersey’s rules for indoor dining capacity will determine the specific opening time.

“They’re making a lot of progress on their space and it looks great,” Brindle told the board of Downtown Westfield Corp. “They said they will be ready to open in November, but if they open in November will depend on indoor dining capacities.”

Sign Up for Westfield Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

If they don’t make November, she said, Bareburger anticipates opening by January 2021. The upscale hamburger franchise is slated for 126 Central Avenue next to the eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker.

ARCHIVE: Upscale Burger Joint Set to Bring Westfield Some ‘Buzz’

As of this week, the state is allowing for indoor dining at 25% capacity. Gov. Phil Murphy said New Jersey needs to see fewer COVID-19 outbreaks before the state allows for higher indoor dining capacities.

“A sustained lack of outbreaks in either gyms or indoor dining would ultimately, I can't tell you when, will ultimately lead to a decision on capacity,” Murphy said in his COVID-19 update Wednesday.

In 2018, Bareburger purchased the unused liquor license from the former Jolley Trolley Bar & Grill, which had closed in 2016.

Bareburger then confirmed on Twitter: “Not fake news,” the chain wrote with a smiley-face emoticon, replying to a story Tweeted by TAPinto Westfield.

On Twitter, the town then expressed optimism: “In case you missed this news at last night's Town Council meeting... Who's excited about @Bareburger coming to Westfield?,” the town Tweeted.

Officials previously anticipated the franchise would open in “early 2020,” according to Brindle, who then included the restaurant’s anticipated opening in a year-end list of town accomplishments made in 2019. That, however, was prior to the pandemic.

The high-end hamburger chain has existing locations in Montclair, Ridgewood and New York City, among its 37 restaurants nationwide, according to Bareburger.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

Read More Westfield NJ Local News

CHEERS: Get Counted in Census. It May Get Westfield Another Liquor License, Mayor Says
CHARM: Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week: Katie Hamilton
COVID-19: You May Not Know if You Were Exposed To COVID-19, But App Could Tell You