Restaurant owner reacts to NJ resuming 25% indoor dining: 'A step in the right direction'

Restaurants will have to maintain social distancing between tables

A New Jersey restaurant owner said on Tuesday that 25% of indoor dining being opened in the Garden State is a “step in the right direction.”

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“That’s all we’ve been pleading for the past couple of months is just to take a step so we have that step going forward. We can’t stand still now. We got to keep that forward progress going,”  Allendale Bar & Grill and Mahwah Bar & Grill owner Craig Kunisch told “Fox & Friends.”

“We all need to be at 100%, there is no doubt about it, in order to be around for a long time,” Kunisch said.

NJ INDOOR DINING TO REOPEN AT LIMITED CAPACITY ON SEPT. 4

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that restaurants will be allowed to resume dine-in service at a limited capacity on Sept. 4.

While the state continues to battle the virus, all restaurants across the state will be able to serve guests inside at 25% capacity with social distancing between tables, according to Murphy.

"Reopening responsibly will help us restore one of our state’s key industries while continuing to make progress against #COVID19," Murphy tweeted.

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Earlier this summer, Murphy postponed the resumption of indoor dining due to the lack of compliance over the use of face masks and social distancing as the coronavirus outbreak continues to rage in many parts of the country.

However, according to reports, the governor first hinted Friday that the state was close to reopening dine-in service, roughly six months after restaurants shifted to take-out models in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

The governor's update comes just after the state reported 306 new positive cases, pushing its cumulative total to 191,611.

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Kunisch said that restaurant operators will ensure their guests are safe during the pandemic with dining-in at 25% capacity.

“Our two places have been blessed with an incredibly supportive community where we have been rocking the outdoors and we had the outdoor space. But there are so many restauranteurs and operators that just didn’t have that opportunity; that is struggling to stay afloat and now they’re going inside. Again, it’s that good initial first step,” Kunisch said.

Kunisch went on to say, “I don’t know where all the decision-making energy is coming from. The only thing that we can do is kind of take what we’re given and do our best with it. So, right now we were told 25%. The New Jersey Restaraunt Hospitality Association has been working non-stop … we just need a step forward, we have that step forward going Friday.”

Fox News'  Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.