Mayor: Residents voice concerns about outdoor dining

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SEA GIRT — With some of Sea Girt’s popular restaurants in residential areas, Mayor Ken Farrell said many residents have voiced concerns about the duration of outdoor dining permissions granted to aid the businesses while restrictions remain on indoor dining.

Gov. Phil Murphy allowed outdoor table service to begin June 22, enabling restaurants to offer on-site dining the first time since late March.

The mayor and borough council members have said that they understood the losses these establishments have taken since the pandemic outbreak.

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“Some of these people are desperate,” Mayor Farrell said. “It’s trying times, and we’re trying to get revenue in their pockets.”

Like other restaurants without prior outdoor seat- ing, Harrigan’s, at 703 Baltimore Boulevard, was permitted to set up an outdoor seating area in its parking lot.

“There were … people from the Harrigan’s neighborhood that were worried that outdoor dining would be permanent,” Mayor Farrell said.

He also cited Fratello’s, located at The Plaza, as “definitely squeezed” on avail- able outdoor serving space. The restaurant offered some outdoor seating prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but would be limited to about tables to comply with social distancing, the mayor said.

“I did guarantee that [restaurants] would not continue outside dining. And that was one of the main concerns with people,” Mr. Farrell said about his reassurance to residents.

The mayor said other issues surrounding outdoor dining in the borough would be discussed at the borough’s council meeting, Wednesday night, after The Coast Star print deadline.

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