Just when restaurants were finally getting some good news came word Monday that indoor dining will not resume in New Jersey on Thursday.

It was two weeks ago that many places in our area and throughout the state took advantage of being able to offer outdoor dining and heading into the holiday weekend it looked like they would add to that by being able to open indoors at 25% capacity.

However that all changed Monday afternoon when Gov. Phil Murphy reversed course and announced a pause in that plan for several reasons and whether you agree or not he does appear to be a man of his convictions.

Murphy cited the staggering increase in positive COVID-19 cases across the country, the fact that the virus spreads faster indoors and the lack of cooperation when it comes to outdoor behavior in the first couple of weeks as the reasons for the change in plans.

It is that last point that is likely gnawing at the governor the most as we have seen pictures and videos of packed restaurants/bars including those at the Jersey Shore.  What is evident is that few are wearing masks and social distancing is being virtually ignored at many places and with the 4th of July just days away Murphy is not taking any chances.

Of course as always those that comply also have the pay the price for those that simply ignored the rules and restrictions in place.  What is really sad is that so many restaurants invested dollars they don’t really have to prepare for indoor dining and also re-hired or hired staff with the plan to open their doors on Thursday.

Now that is on hold and it could be a while.  I guess we can blame the knuckleheads.

On a sort of related manner.  One of the most creative names for a restaurant is Used to Be’s in Mantoloking.  It got that name because I like many others would identify the place on Route 35 as “you know it used to be.”  So I finally got around to doing some research and thanks to manager Randi Beyrouty I can tell you that it opened as Peter Dolger’s but is likely best known as Joe Kenny’s Party Time Inn which is was from 1958-1984.

It then became the Bayside Café from 1984-90 and Jay’s Steak House from 1990-92 and finally Used to Be’s in 1992. I think that name will stick for a while.

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