Feb 6, 2024 - News

Boston's outdoor dining program to return, except in North End

A shot of Boston's North End neighborhood with its cobblestone streets and restaurants like Mamma Maria.

Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Outdoor dining returns to Boston in May, except in the North End, city officials say.

Why it matters: The historic Italian neighborhood loses out on business by being snubbed, but the alternative would fill the already crowded North End with trash and congestion, neighbors say.

What's happening: The city excluded the North End again this year, following meetings with the North End Outdoor Dining Task Force.

  • The group of residents and restaurant owners convened to discuss whether outdoor dining could work in the neighborhood and, if so, how to approach it.

Zoom in: The city is looking into some of the task force's recommendations for the North End, the Boston Globe reported.

  • Those suggestions include allowing outdoor dining on weekends only, approving smaller patios, a regular "Open Streets" concept or a lottery system for a limited number of restaurants.

For everyone else, the city's outdoor dining season kicks off May 1 and runs through October.

  • Eligible restaurants who want to take part have to pay $199 for outdoor dining and $399 a month if they have a liquor license.
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