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Watermark Asbury Park Owner Wants Donovan’s Reef Shut Down

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Russell Lewis, the owner of Watermark Asbury Park, responded to a report of a bar fight, a maskless crowd and little if any social distancing at Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright on Saturday night by calling upon State Senator Vin Gopal to get the popular Sea Bright venue shut down.

Gopal responded on facebook:

Vin Gopal Russell Lewis – I have a feeling the ABC will be getting aggressive on folks liquor licenses. That’s the only thing that those who are irresponsible will understand.

ABC is the Division of Alcohol Beverage Control, the State agency to regulates businesses with liquor licenses.

Lewis responded, saying he messaged Governor Murphy personally to get Donovan’s license pulled:

Russell Lewis I’ve messaged Gov Murphy asking him to pull their license. I hope others will do the same.

“I’m calling on my local, regional and state legislators to instantly revoke any bar/restaurant that is blatantly disrespectful and disregarding the law around social distancing, Lewis said in a statement to MMM. “This is my livelihood they’re messing with if we are all to be punished because of a behavior of a few. I’d expect the same treatment if I were running my business so incorrectly. “

Lewis provided photos of how he is operating Watermark Asbury Park with COVID-19 appropriate social distancing policies.

” I typically gross around $50k on a summer Saturday. I grossed $3600 yesterday,” Lewis said. “If there is a spike because bar owners and not managing appropriately, Murphy will shut us down. That would be devastating.”

Lewis said that the COVID-19 spikes in Austin, TX and elsewhere are being traced back to bars. He noted that California Governor Gavin Newsome order bars and restaurants in seven counties, including Los Angeles, shutdown due to the coronavirus spread, and recommended that eight additional counties due so voluntarily. “Shits hitting the fan,” Lewis said.

“Murphy is looking at these numbers. It will be devasting if NJ has to go through another shutdown.”

Lewis said he has not heard back from Governor Murphy.

Senator Declan O’Scanlon, who represents Sea Bright, the location of Donovan’s, said he has been in touch with local authorities and ABC. “Donovan’s is making adjustments,” O’Scanlon said. “We need to handle these situations with education and appropriate enforcement. Taking away someone’s license, their livlihood and the jobs of their employes is extreme. At the same time, we can’t let establishments thumb their noses at safety. It all has to be a balance.

Tune into Murphy’s daily knucklehead briefing on Monday, which is tentatively scheduled for 2:30 p.m., according to the Governor’s communications office.

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