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Not so fast with expanded outdoor dining in the North End; neighborhood restaurants have to wait until April 1

Although the mayor's office announced yesterday that Boston restaurants could begin serving at tables set up on public sidewalks and parking spaces on March 22, the Boston Licensing Board announced today that North End restaurants will have to wait until April 1.

The board said the neighborhood's "high density" means more care has to go into approving restaurant expansion into the public realm. Restaurants with licensing-board approval there can begin setting up their outdoor dining areas on March 29.


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Perhaps, and this is just a suggestion, we figure out key details like this before making broad announcements. That's all I got, no newsletter to subscribe to or anything.

Voting closed 34

The vast majority of North End restaurants completely ignored covid restrictions the past year, including being open during the initial lockdown and later flaunting capacity restrictions. Because of that, I couldn't care less when they're 'allowed' to open this spring, I won't go there anymore and I'll tell all family & friends visiting not to, as well.

I really hope someone puts together a master list of all restaurants and businesses that knowingly & willingly violated restrictions over the past year so we can all choose to take our business elsewhere.

Voting closed 55

Most restaurants there seem less interested in quality food and more interested in packing their small spaces with as many tourists as possible.

Off to Eataly, I go.

Voting closed 17

I don’t buy that we need to roll this up “because of snow”. Businesses are capable of clearing sidewalk and parking spaces for outdoor dining after a snow storm. There are place that get colder and snowier than us who have outdoor dining year round. I don’t understand why this is so hard here. I’ve seen people sitting out eating food in all sorts of weather this past winter.

Voting closed 19

...have you ever tried to do it yourself? As in, run a restaurant offering dining in the snow?

I haven't either, but I'm going to suggest that "how hard can it be?" is usually a bad take.

Voting closed 13

As in "if a restaurant wants to try it, why not let them?" If it isn't something people are interested in, then the restaurant will have to stop doing it - no reason the city has to enforce this.

The only real counter-argument I can think of is about keeping the sidewalk clear for people to have room to walk, but as usual, that's really more of an argument for removing parking to give humans more room to move vs anything about what restaurants are doing.

Voting closed 24

Totally agree. My guess however is that the City doesn't trust the snowplow operators to not completely destroy a restaurant's outdoor furniture.

Voting closed 14