The City of Jersey City has shut down the Maritime Parc restaurant for violating COVID-19 state guidelines during a New York Young Republican Club gala last night.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“This establishment known as Maritime Parc, 84 Audrey Zapp Dr., has been ordered CLOSED until such time as the operators prepare and submit a written operational plan to the Jersey City Department of Environmental Health,” the order, signed by Division of Environmental Health Director Happy James Boor and posted online by Mayor Steven Fulop, says.
“Describing how they intend to comply with Gov. Phil Murphy’s Executive orders (E.O.’s 183, 192, and 194 specifically) regarding capacity mandates and mask wearing. Failure to comply will lead to fines and court appearances.”
Last night, Joel Fischer, who attended the gala, tweeted at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), posting a selfie from the event with U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) with the caption “come and get me.”
While he didn’t disclose the location of the fundraiser, it didn’t take long for Jersey City officials to figure it out.
Mayor Steven Fulop tweeted at 9:27 a.m. that local authorities would be investigating the Maritime Parc in relation to this event and then blasted the disregard for COVID-19 guidelines in a statement.
“In Jersey City we take Covid enforcement very seriously, and this event appears to be an egregious violation of the governor’s executive orders, including capacity limitations and mandatory mask wearing,” he said.
“This event blatantly disregards the protections put in place to safeguard the community from further contagion and has put Jersey City and countless others at serious risk.”
When announcing new COVID-19 testing sites last month, Fulop said city officials would take an education over an enforcement approach to state mandates, though Public Safety Director James Shea said action would be taken when people clearly scoff at the rules.
A spokesperson for Maritime Parc said this evening that the booking was last minute in a room that had a maximum capacity of 600 people, New Jersey State Police oversaw the venue before and during the event, and drinks were only available via table side servers.
” … The New Jersey State Police were in fact onsite throughout the event to ensure guidelines were followed, prior to issuing the initial statement as well as the order to temporarily close,” the statement reads.
“Maritime Parc will assist the investigation in whatever ways necessary and is eager to help. They had done everything in their capacity and that is required to be compliant here – including informing the group several times of New Jersey’s social distancing regulations.”
They also insisted that the event did not exceed capacity limits and that the found out about the order to close temporarily via social media.
During his coronavirus briefing from Trenton, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) also took the opportunity to tee off on Gaetz, who wore a gas mask on the House floor during a vote on a COVID-19 relief bill, referring to him as “Matt Putz.”
“It is beyond the pale that anyone would willingly endanger people in another state. It is also beyond the pale that Rep Matt Putz – I mean Matt Gaetz – would participate in this. What a fool. Matt – You are not welcome in New Jersey, and frankly I don’t ever want you back in this state,” the governor said.
On Twitter, Gaetz was happy to respond in kind.