Seaside Heights will continue to allow restaurants to use outdoor space for dining in 2021, the borough council decided Wednesday.
The program was introduced last summer during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants remain limited to 35 percent capacity with additional restrictions imposed on bars. While the program was authorized on an emergency basis last summer, this year officials have worked with business owners and residents to develop a written plan.
“We received very favorable feedback from both the public and the business owners,” said Mayor Anthony Vaz, who set up a committee in September, after the 2020 summer season, to examine outdoor dining.
The dining program, while established as a lifeline for restaurants, was also a hit in its own right. This year, outdoor dining capacity will be established on both the boardwalk as well as the Boulevard business district. Restaurants will apply for permits and the cost will be determined by the location requested and the number of square feet of public space that will be taken up.
The program is straightforward in that there are no additional regulations beyond simply taking extra outdoor space for tables.
“As of right now there is no specific cut-off time in the resolution,” said Borough Administrator Christopher Vaz. “The establishments will close whenever they normally close their business.”
The program is authorized to continue through November this year.