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Monday, May 27, 2024

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Outdoor Dining, Public Alcohol Consumption Extended

By Vince Conti

CAPE MAY – Cape May Manager Jerry Inderwies Jr. brought before City Council Dec. 1 a proposal to, again, extend outdoor dining and open consumption of alcohol for an additional period. 

Noting the appeal of outdoor dining, one of the few silver linings in this year of COVID-19 restrictions, along with the continued capacity limits for indoor dining, Inderwies proposed extending necessary permissions for expanded seating and open consumption for a pilot effort in winter.  

Inderwies’ initial proposal was for three months, but council discussion showed a consensus building around a shorter two-month period. The council agreed that formal action on a resolution would occur at its next meeting. 

The short extension, as explained by Mayor Clarence Lear, is to give businesses the time to prepare for continued service beyond the Dec. 31 date, when existing city permissions would otherwise expire.  

The two-month period would give the new council time to debate longer-term issues related to closed streets and outdoor seating, as preparation for the 2021 season. 

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