Jersey City May Impose Restrictions Again After Reports Of Overcrowding At Bars

WCBS 880 Newsroom
June 30, 2020 - 5:49 pm

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    JERSEY CITY, N.J. (WCBS 880) — Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said Tuesday the city may roll back it’s reopening progress after a popular bar was found packed with people over the weekend. 

    Jersey City chief prosecutor Jake Hudnut says authorities were called to a popular bar and restaurant, The Factory, twice over the weekend and when authorities showed up, the scene was reminiscent of life before COVID-19.

    “There were over 100 people inside, alcohol being served, no masks, it was business as usual,” he said.

    The authorities were originally called to the restaurant on Saturday to break up a fight outside.

    “They noticed there were people inside and Sunday, we received a tip that there were people inside again,” Hudnut explains. 

    Mayor Fulop says it's bad decisions by a few people that can ruin it for everybody and said if people don't do the right thing, he'll bring back restrictions.

    “Whether it be curfews or revoking outdoor seating if we don't have compliance from restaurants,” Fulop said.

    The Factory was hit with summonses that carry the potential for jail time, $2000 worth of fines each and community service. 

    Hudnut says he will be revoking the restaurant’s liquor license and its application for outdoor seating has been declined. 

    Indoor dining was scheduled to begin again in the state on Wednesday, but after similar crowding incidents the weekend before, Gov. Phil Murphy decided to postpone the start date.

    Other restaurant owners who were complying with the rules were frustrated by the decision and say they are looking money, not just business. 

    “I mean we probably spent about $6,000 or $7,000 on food that has expiration dates,” explains Amy Russo, owner of Toast – which has locations in Red Bank, Asbury Park and Montclair.

    She notes with the holiday weekend approaching, the damage is also psychological. 

    “When we had July 2nd everybody was just waiting for that and like I said 25% is still 25% more than zero,” she said.

    She says the places that violated state guideline were mostly bars, now everyone is being punished.

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