Shop-and-dine zone to return on Main Street in Manasquan

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MANASQUAN — The borough’s Main Street Pedestrian Zone will return this month, giving a boost to downtown businesses and providing a safe space for residents and visitors to gather outdoors as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The borough council approved a resolution Monday night establishing the pedestrian zone hours, which are set to begin April 21 through Sept. 2. Every Wednesday and Thursday, the section of Main Street from South Street to Route 71 will close from 6 to 10 p.m. to allow for walk-through traffic.

The goal of the pedestrian zone is to provide relief to local merchants and restaurants that have suffered financially during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“The program is really aimed at helping our retail and downtown restaurants after a year of downturn due to COVID,” Councilman Jay Bryant said. “We still have restrictions at 50 percent in place … for restaurants and the capacity for outdoor dining really helps them out.”

The borough’s initiative debuted last June when Gov. Phil Murphy announced that outdoor dining and limited in-store shopping would be permitted following the months-long closure of most establishments.

Mr. Bryant noted that the borough worked with the Manasquan Chamber of Commerce as well as businesses to organize this year’s pedestrian zone.

“We’re looking to get involvement from as many businesses in town as possible, and to support the community and get through this COVID thing together,” chamber president, Frank Calabrese, told The Coast Star on Tuesday.

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