Boston Restaurants React To Moved Up Outdoor Dining Timeline

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Outdoor dining is returning to Boston in a matter of days --- and North End business owners can’t wait to set the table.

“This is going to be the greatest summer that we’ve ever had and we’re looking forward to it,” restaurant owner Frank Depasquale said.

Depasquale owns 12 different eateries in the North End -- many of which saw the silver living last year when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the Commonwealth.

“Unfortunately -- or fortunately -- it took us a pandemic to get outdoor dining and it’s something that we wished all along,” he said.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Friday that outdoor dining returns to the city on March 22, 2021 -- a little over a week before the original planned date of April 1.

Walsh said that the updated timeline decision was made because of the upcoming weather forecasts for the city.

“Just this weekend alone with the beautiful weather with the two days you [can see] how the North End just totally blows up,” Depasquale said.

He added that the outdoor dining season will coincide with the city also opening up arenas and stadiums for sports games -- which will likely bring in even more customers to the North End.

“This is the greatest inner city community probably in the country," he said. "It’s like being in Italy without taking a plane to get there."

Depasquale said despite the good news, restaurant owners are still calling on the mayor to bring back valet parking in the city in the next phase of reopening. But in the meantime, he says it’s encouraging to see the business community come together.  

“[We are] one team, one family, and one group that’s willing to help each other to reach their goal,” he said.

WBZ’s Matt Shearer (@MattWBZ) reports.

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Written by Rachel Armany

(Photo: Getty Images)

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