Public Consumption of Alcohol Permitted in Cape May

Public Consumption of Alcohol Permitted in Cape May Temporarily

Keeping up with the daily changes of government regulations and executive orders is exhausting.  Remember using fake guns to shoot moving targets on the boardwalk, the kind that clanged when you hit them? It’s almost the same thing. Ping, a new executive order. Public consumption of alcohol permitted in Cape May is a thing.

People expect me to have answers, all the answers. Fortunately, there is the Cape May strong website. This is a website constantly updated about, retail, outside seating, and gasp–drinking alcohol in public in Cape May.

Run by volunteers from the Chamber of Commerce and community partners Cape May Strong is my go-to resource.

The possibility of allowing open containers of alcohol in Cape May was debated ad nauseum.  Don’t picture kegs on the beach. Forget imagining bonfires with coolers of beer in open spaces. Wrong concept. Stroll with one glass of wine, finish your dinner, and get up. Let the restaurant have the table for the next guest.

The purpose of modifying the ordinance to allow the consumption of adult beverages in open spaces was to accommodate those establishments hampered by social distancing restrictions inside their businesses. As Mayor Lear and Deputy Mayor Hendricks explained if you want to get up from dinner and finish a glass of wine outdoors so a restaurant can turn tables, do it.

Same Cape May New Cape May

Some would like Cape May to never change. The white clapboard sided houses of the sixties and seventies were just fine. Others like a more progressive Cape May. The Coronavirus pandemic has given us one of the seven Rs in change management. Reason for change.  Outside dining, slower streets, wider sidewalks are here.

Suddenly, people don’t need to park so close to a place to eat. Decatur Street is closed. Fin’s and the Mug have a huge white wedding style tent set up. Finally, sidewalk dining is a staple in the new Cape May. The town is oozing with creativity. Parking lots are now dining rooms.

Starting July 2nd restaurants can permit 25% of their capacity to be utilized. Hopefully, outside dining remains into the offseason.

“Beautiful unintended (silver lining) via C-19. Necessity is the mother of invention.” Patrick Logue wrote in a Facebook comment.

“I hope this look of outdoor dining, (a hallmark of Europe), might be adopted permanently and even lead to the possibility of “golf cart only” zones in the historic district of Cape May, or other radical changes to improve the historic district and address summer compression. Well done, Cape May!” he added.

Same Hotels New Hotels

Expect some changes when checking in this year at your regular hotel summer headquarters. Desk staff will be behind safety screens. Many will be pre-charging you or emailing your receipts. Cleaning protocols are at a whole new level. Don’t demand early check-in and work with your property. You will still get the same Cape May hospitality you deserve.

Some hotels will make housekeeping an option. Communicate your desires with the establishment. Everyone is in a first-time experience with you. None of us are experts but will do everything possible to keep you safe and healthy.

Getting back to questions. People ask me all the time should they come to Cape May? The answer is yes. But do expect some changes. Its the same Cape May. But it’s a new Cape May.









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1 Comment

  1. David Greene
    June 24, 2020 / 1:22 pm

    Thank you for this reporting, John!