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Oakland Restaurant Facing Consequences For Pre-Thanksgiving Bash

Portabellos
Portabellos Photo Credit: Google Maps

An Oakland restaurant is facing consequences for a pre-Thanksgiving bash featuring dozens of mask-less patrons.

A photo of dozens of people gathered Wednesday night outside Portabellos Restaurant was the impetus for an emergency council meeting Monday evening.

During the 6 p.m. meeting, Oakland council members voted in favor of shutting down the Ramapo Valley Road's outdoor dining license at 4 p.m. daily, for 30 days.

"We cannot allow this to happen," Oakland Mayor Linda Schwager said after seeing the photo from last Wednesday's event. "This was a violation of the Governor’s Executive Order, and our Borough Ordinance, and the public safety for all."

Local police and health officials will enforce the new rule, and Portabellos' owner must meet with Oakland council members on either Dec. or 21, before the restriction can be lifted, Council President Russell Talamini told NJ.com.

The restaurant's banquet manager and son of the chef and owner, Frank Amen, told NorthJersey.com the gathering was an anomaly that "won't happen again."

Amen went on to say the restaurant has been doing everything it can to comply with the rules, including the presence of six security guards and off-duty police officers.

A statewide executive order says masks are required outside when social distancing is not possible. Earlier this month, Gov. Phil Murphy banned bar seating and ordered indoor dining closed at 10 p.m.

The emergency meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Zoom. Email boroadmin@oakland-nj.org for a link to join.

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