Boston Offers Payment Flexibility On North End Outdoor Dining Charge

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — On Tuesday, the City of Boston held a press conference concerning the outdoor dining scene in the North End, and provided details into the seasonal charge for restaurants looking to seat customers outside.

In the press conference, city officials said that North End restaurants can pay the $7,500 outdoor dining seasonal charge in $1,500 monthly installments, and that there will be a method for select businesses to apply for "hardship waivers," or reduced rates.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said that waivers will be issued based on three main factors including the restaurant's location, whether or not they have a liquor license, and the size of the patio.

Wu said it will be an application process, where restaurant owners can request a "hardship waiver," that the City will evaluate. Wu said that for those restaurants, it would be an estimated $5,000 or $3,500 for restaurants that qualify.

North End Owner and CEO of The Varano Group and multiple restaurant owner Nick Varano said he was excited to find a solution that works for the City, North End residents, and restaurants.

"As long as we do what's best for the neighborhood, mostly for the residents that live there year-round. I personally was always in favor of trying to find the resolution with the mayor and the mayor's staff, on finding a way to make this work. Because if we can have cleaner streets, safety, more police, and a better living environment, it makes it better for all us restaurant owners," Varano said.

Read More: North End Restaurants Organize Legal Action To Oppose Outdoor Dining Fee

"This has been a very unique and complicated situation to say the least, having over 90 liquor licenses in such a small residential community has always been a challenge but with outdoor dining it has become particularly daunting for all of us," Massachusetts State Representative Aaron Michlewitz said.

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