Indoor Dining Returns to South Orange and Maplewood Friday, While Dining al Fresco Continues

by The Village Green
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Six months after ordering all New Jersey restaurants to shutter their indoor dining rooms, Gov. Phil Murphy has given the nod for restaurants to welcome patrons back inside beginning Friday, Sept. 4.

There are strict restrictions, which include:

  • Limiting capacity to 25%
  • Capping the number of customers per table at eight
  • Requiring customers to remain seated while consuming food or beverages
  • Requiring customers to wear face coverings while inside the restaurant, except when eating or drinking at their table
  • Requiring customers to be seated in order to receive table service
  • Keep doors and windows open and use fans and air conditioning units to improve ventilation

Some local restaurants will be taking advantage of the new executive order, while others are holding off for now. Many will continue with curbside pickup and outdoor dining.

“They say that the first year of restaurant ownership is the hardest,” said Mary Conway, owner of Bistro d’Azur in South Orange.  “Boy, they weren’t kidding, 2020 sure has been a challenge. We are just delighted that as our first anniversary approaches, we are finally able to welcome guests back into our beautiful dining room.”

Bistro d’Azur will be open Wednesdays – Sundays from 4pm-9:30pm, for both indoor and outdoor dining. Reservations are required for both. The restaurant is continuing curbside pickup available for its carry out menu.

Bistro d’Azur in South Orange

In South Orange, all outdoor dining is approved to continue through the end of the year, and each individual business will decide how long it wishes to continue, according to SOVCA Executive Director Julie Doran. Doran added that many restaurants are ordering heaters, and will continue outdoor eating as long as weather permits.

Maplewood restaurants also are permitted to continue with outdoor dining through the end of the year.

Here is a partial list of SOMA restaurants reopening for indoor dining this weekend. Remember, just because a restaurant is not on this list it doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be open for indoor dining; some owners are still making a determination. Make sure to call ahead and check individual businesses’ websites and social media for most up-to-date information.


  • Bistro d’Azur
  • Bunny’s
  • Gaslight
  • Grid Iron Waffle
  • Toro Loco
  • Papillon 25
  • Chris’s Diner
  • Reservoir
  • La Villa Mexican
  • The Fox & Falcon
  • Miti Miti
  • Giorgio’s

Not opening for indoor dining at this time:

  • Munchies
  • Jackie & Son


  • St. James Gate Publick House
  • Coda
  • Ani Ramen
  • Luna Stella
  • Roman Gourmet

Not opening for indoor dining at this time:

  • Arturo’s
  • Able Baker


  • Park Wood Diner
  • Maplewood Diner
  • Cornbread
  • Freetown Kitchen

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