There have been a lot of new bills proposed for New Jersey, but the most recent has got to be one of the most insulting yet.

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According to an article on, a North Jersey town is could make life a lot more difficult for restaurants with, "extra seating areas outside their businesses, called 'parklets.'”

If you are not sure what I am talking about, think of the Red Bank Broadwalk Plaza for reference.

Liz Jeressi
Liz Jeressi

Another good example is the outdoor seating area set up outside Capone's Gourmet Pizza on Washing Street in Toms River.

If green light, Jersey City restaurants with sidewalk seating will be required to purchase additional permits and pay for more fees for these outdoor areas to remain in business.

We are talking about a hefty chunk of change.

The new parklet permit would cost a whopping $3,650 with an additional $2,000 in the other fees on top of it which would cover the costs of, "traffic administration, engineering inspection, zoning and signage."

Ummmmmm, what?

In the words of Papa Murray, "Since when did money start growing on trees?"

I just want to make sure I am understanding correctly.

A catastrophic number of restaurants, bars and other businesses were forced to close due to the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Fine, unavoidable.

Then the remaining businesses had to find a way to not only remain afloat with a limited indoor capacity but still make back the extra revenue they lost during the 2020 quarantine.

Also fine because those limitations were put in place to protect everyone.

Then restaurants found a way to remain in business without putting other people's health at risk. Outdoor dining, sidewalk dining and outdoor heated dining became the new trend in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

And now after allllllllll this, you want to try and charge restaurants an extra $5500 out of nowhere?

Outdoor and sidewalk dining was not a "new, creative business idea." It was invented out of necessity.

It has been a nonstop struggle for New Jersey restaurants these last two years and these new fees could not be more tone deaf if you tried.

How are they struggling? Let's catch you up on what has been going on behind the scenes:

Why New Jersey Restaurants Are Still Struggling In 2022

Restaurants are struggling to operate a fully functioning business and it hasn't been the same since COVID-19. Here's why:

A lot of things are stacked against restaurants these days, aren't they?

The silver lining is that according to the article, Jersey City is the only New Jersey city that is considering this new rule as of now.

But whenever a new rule passes somewhere in the Garden State, it tends to spread like wildfire.

To Jersey Shore leadership: don't even think about it.

There are so many businesses that not only have great food, but have sentimental value.

For example, the Crabs Claw Inn in Lavallette is a restaurant that has been a part of my family for years.

Before I was born, my mom and dad used to rent a small bungalow every summer on the island. (And yes, I could point out which one because my sisters and I were shown this house annually)

During every visit, where did they go? That's right...the Crabs Claw Inn.

Before I could even say the word "bisque," I was being spoon fed their Lobster Bisque as a baby. It is still, to this day, my family and I's go-to spot on the island.

Imagine if after all these years, it were forced to close thanks to insane rules like this one.

And if I may....the Crabs Claw Inn is aware they are struggling and want their customers to know it too. This is what is posted in their bathrooms:


For some businesses, $5,000 may not be a make or break.

But have you been out and about these days?

Some businesses are just getting by and fees like this would either force them to permanently close or to lose the revenue from sidewalk dining which could also result in them closing.

To you, it is just $5,000.

But to the rest of the Jersey Shore, it could be the make or break that closes businesses we have been going to for years.

Don't be that guy. I beg of you.

Thank you.

Nicole S. Murray

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. Email me at but just know if you insult me or my "level of journalism," I will not be responding.

Have a nice day!

As if we needed another reason to consider moving out of the Garden State:

NJ Residents are Moving to these 25 Cities

The Joyous Jersey Shore and Why We Love it: From A to Z

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