HOWELL, NJ – One of our favorite local breakfast chains, IHOP is celebrating somewhat of a reopening today. They have announced new parking lot dining at their Howell Township location. While this is great for the store and people who miss everything IHOP has to offer, it also pointed out the absurdity of this entire reopening fiasco being run by Governor Phil Murphy.
Small business owners have been so beaten, so degraded and humiliated by this governor over the past 30 days as he continually moves the goal post for the state’s small businesses that when he graces them with the ability to move tables into their parking lot, roped off with yellow police tape, we are rejoicing for our new freedom.
Today, New Jerseyans will suck up a little bit of their own pride and dignity to support these small businesses who are absolutely dying out there. We’ll go and sit in a parking lot, on the side of a road and enjoy the fact that we can once again be allowed to have a meal cooked by a professional.
Parking lot dining is not the answer for these businesses. We’re going to have rainy days. We’re going to have hot days. We’re going to have humid days. Once the novelty of parking lot dining wears off and the summer heats up, finding customers for outdoor dining anywhere that wasn’t specifically built for outdoor dining might be a hard sell. Outdoor dining will thrive in downtowns and tourist areas, but in mid-July, is anyone going to want to sit outside in a strip mall asphalt parking lot with surface temperatures well above 100 degrees in the high Jersey Shore humidity?
This is only a bandaid fix and regardless of what Governor Murphy says each day on television, this is not the answer to keep New Jersey’s small businesses and restaurants from going completely under.
Murphy needs to address indoor dining immediately before more restaurants join those who have already permanently closed their doors. Either way, today is a beautiful day, so go enjoy a nice meal and support your local restaurants!