What to Know
- The coronavirus pandemic has caused much uncertainty, including surrounding the acclaimed Jersey Shore music scene -- one made famous decades ago by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny and introduced us to that distinct and iconic Jersey Shore sound
- The Stone Pony and Wonder Bar remain closed for the time being. Meanwhile, the Osprey Nightclub announced it would not open at all this summer
- Last week, it was announced that state lakes and beaches along the Jersey Shore, New York, Connecticut -- and even Delaware -- will be open with some restrictions in time for Memorial Day weekend in a planned regional effort as the tri-state continues to grapple with the COVID-19 outbreak
Greg Peterson is a stagehand -- without a stage.
Peterson is now back working a childhood job of delivering food for a Long Branch, New Jersey, wholesaler since the ongoing coronavirus pandemic changed his work plans for this summer.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused much uncertainty, including surrounding the acclaimed Jersey Shore music scene -- one made famous decades ago by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny and introduced us to that distinct and iconic Jersey Shore sound.
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When asked if he could imagine the Jersey Shore without a music scene, Peterson simply and poignantly replies: "No, I can’t. Nobody can."
What Peterson is missing is building the outdoor Summer Stage -- an annual series of music events that transforms this large lot behind the famed Stone Pony in Asbury Park into a coveted stage. With live music still banned statewide, there is no sign that the stage will be going up anytime soon.
Just a mere blocks away, the popular Wonder Bar is also closed -- as an eerie silence consumes its outdoor space.
Meanwhile in Sea Bright, Donovan’s Reef has an advantage -- it’s own private beach. Because of this, for now, the establishment says it plans to open its tiki bar this upcoming weekend and keep its band bookings.
"We have people lined up, bands lined up. We're canceling as we go," Christine Carducci, of Donovan's Reef, said.
With the upcoming Saturday opening, Donovan is going through all the motions: workers are cleaning the kitchen and bar equipment for another summer season.
However, not all will be as before. The inside of Donovan's Reef will remain shuttered.
Even as beach badge sales in Belmar offer proof that people will come in droves and as towns employ their beach rakers to pick up trash, one thing seems to be constant: sanitation is a priority.
"They’re going to be trained in hygiene and wellness," Carducci said of her staff.
As the region continues to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak, Donovan's Reef is not expecting a profitable summer.
"If we break even and provide a service for the town and get people out again, I think we’ll be happy with that," Mike Cardelfe, of Donovan's Reef said.
The Jersey Shore scene for some well-known venues, like the Osprey Nightclub in Manasquan will not be the same in summer 2020. The popular nightclub announced it would not open this summer. However, it does expect to reopen next year.
Last week, it was announced that state lakes and beaches along the Jersey Shore, New York, Connecticut -- and even Delaware -- will be open with some restrictions in time for Memorial Day weekend in a planned regional effort as the tri-state continues to grapple with the COVID-19 outbreak.
The state beaches and lakeshores will reopen on May 22. The reopening is a multi-state coordinated effort because, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday, "we are one multi-state region. What one state does, will affect other states. That is apparently, no more clear, than when it comes to opening beaches."
"We want everybody to fun, but we want everybody to be safe," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday when announcing the reopening. "The Shore is central to our Jersey identity and we want to ensure that families can safely enjoy it this summer."
To that end, there are a series of restrictions that will come when the states' beaches reopen later this month.
Among the restrictions are:
- Every beach must be required to establish capacity limitations. However, Murphy said the state will leave it to local leaders to decide the method that would be best for their community, including limiting the numbers of available beach tags for any given day or through utilizing technology such as through a geographic special analysis. Additionally, Cuomo said that capacity will not exceed more than 50 percent.
- Social distancing measures requiring at least six foot distances between beach goers will be enforced except for family groups household members, caretakers or couples. This is the same approach taken with state parks. Local leaders will also decide how to best enforce social distancing.
- Organized games and contact sports will be prohibited as well as beach recreational summer camps and special events that draw people to the beach such as concerts, festivals, or fireworks. "Each of our shore communities have unique characteristics and we know there is no one size fits all approach. However, some restrictions do fit across the board," Murphy said.
- Regularly and properly clean shower pavilions, changing areas and restrooms. "Sanitation will also be of great importance especially since this order will allow for shower pavilions, changing areas and restrooms to remain open for visitors but they must regularly and properly cleaned," Murphy said, adding that restroom facilities in state and county parks will also reopen, provided they undergo frequent and proper cleaning.
- Boardwalk businesses will also face restrictions. Boardwalk restaurants must continue to operate as take-out and delivery only, but the rides, arcades and other draws must remain closed. Other features that are meant to draw a crowd like a playground or visitor center must similarly remain closed for the time being.
- Ensuring staffing levels are adequate. This is necessary in order to achieve the above measures and the for crowd control.