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Restaurants are rejuvenating downtown Sea Cliff

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As a part of the Phase Two reopening of the economy, the Village of Sea Cliff has enabled select restaurants with properties on Sea Cliff Avenue to set up tables on the street to enable diners to eat outdoors on Fridays and Saturdays. Additionally, restaurants with private outdoor seating can serve customers seven days a week.

Among the restaurants that have opened are the Metropolitan Bistro, the Onion Tree, Still Partners and K.C. Gallagher’s. Judging by the reactions of the public, it seems that customers are just as happy as restaurant owners to be able to enjoy one of the core features of downtown Sea Cliff’s culture.

Bill Long, owner of the Metropolitan Bistro, said he is thrilled to use the restaurant’s front and back outdoor dining properties. He said 80 people had reservations on June 12 alone, an incredible experience which he said could never be replicated by takeout orders.

“Opening up on Wednesday was just like you can’t believe how good the people are,” Long said, “how happy they were, how happy we were. It’s absolutely great.”

Although Still Partners does not have private outdoor dining, co-owner Dan Roth said he was excited to be open again and that he is grateful to be able to serve customers outside.

“It’s a beautiful thing,” Roth said. “As long as the weather holds up, I just hope to offer them a nice, chill place.”

Joe Perricone and Deborah Vicino said Still Partners is one of their favorite places to be, not just for the food and drinks, but also because Perricone plays in one of the venue’s most popular musical acts, the Other Shoe.

“It feels good to go out and sit down and eat dinner,” Perricone said. “It feels really great to be at Still Partners. It’s one of our favorite places to play, it’s one of our favorite places to eat and Sea Cliff is groovy.”

Unfortunately, music is not yet allowed by the village, something which ownership, musicians and patrons are dearly missing.

“Partners is missing its heartbeat without music,” said Kathleen DiResta, Roth’s wife.

Raquel and Jay Jadeja, owners of the Onion Tree, said they opened up their restaurant only two weeks before the lockdown started. Raquel said they are taking extra precautions while serving customers on their private property and on Sea Cliff Avenue. She said they are using single-use paper menus for each customer and are not using check presenters, making it so that no customer touches the same object aside from glasses, plates and silverware, which she said staff is cleaning meticulously.

Nonetheless, Raquel said she is looking forward to a bright future in Sea Cliff.

“People are really excited to be out and having a semi-normal experience after all these months,” Raquel said. “For us in particular, it’s been very interesting because we only opened two weeks before quarantine but we’ve been very fortunate that the Sea Cliff community has really come out and supported us.”

As they were dining outside K.C. Gallagher’s, Liz Oakes-Lani and her daughter, Faith Oakes, 16, remarked on how great it was to be able to be outside, enjoying Sea Cliff once again.

“We’re all really sick of being inside,” Liz said. “Even mentally, it’s just good to get outside, and everyone is keeping with the regulations of distance and reservations and everything…I think people are ready, so it’s good to do it.”