Many New Jersey cities have allowed restaurants that have been hit hard by indoor food restrictions during the pandemic to build outdoor “paddocks” or “street spots” where customers could sit safely and enjoy their food. These outdoor tables, often located in parking lots near restaurants, brought a stream of income that did not allow many places to rise. But because of the reduction in cases and the removal of restrictions on COVID-19, retailers in cities like Ridgewood want to return these parking spaces to encourage downtown shopping. “Parking for cars. Not for restaurants, ”said store owner Joe Latona.
Meanwhile, in Hoboken, the city is happy to make street snacks permanent because “it created a great excitement and liveliness of the Hoboken street landscape,” says Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhala. This is a logistical – and financial – dilemma.
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