BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Canal Street will close to vehicular traffic this weekend for the return of the Boston Playoff Hub, Mayor Michelle Wu and the Downtown North Association announced Thursday.
The Playoff Hub will turn Canal Street into a pedestrian-only area for fans to gather before and during Celtics and Bruins playoff home games at TD Garden. It will begin this Saturday with the Celtics' first playoff game against the Atlanta Hawks.
City officials said the street will close three hours the start of game time, to one hour after the game ends. Approved restaurants and bars will be able to extend their patios onto the sidewalk three hours before the start of the game and must close an hour after its conclusion.
"With both the Bruins and the Celtics in the playoffs this year, we’re excited to give Boston fans a space to safely gather, cheer on their favorite teams, and support our local businesses," said Mayor Wu. "I’m grateful to our partners for teaming up with the City to bring back the Playoff Hub, creating a fun experience for our hockey and basketball fans."
For venues like Hurricane's at the Garden, the extra seating room is a boon for business.
"We’ve done it before, when they got to the Eastern Conference Finals or Finals, but to do it for game one, round one, it’s unbelievable," Hurricane's Desmond Kerns told WBZ NewsRadio Friday.
According to Hurricane's GM Nolan Hamilton, their outdoor patio will include "balloons, flowers, entertainment. As the playoffs go on, get some TVs out here, DJs."
Harpoon Brewery will transform a parking lot into a beer garden.
"So we’ll just be serving beer and hard seltzer, and then the sausage guy will be here with sausages, hot dogs," Harpoon President Charlie Storey said. "We have beer barrels with umbrellas, we’re gonna have some tables, we’ll have string lights, bistro lights."
With plenty of fans ready to descend on Canal Street, the hope is that this year's Playoff Hub goes as long as possible.
"We’ll be back for all the home games," Storey said. "Let’s hope we all go way deep in both series into June."
WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@WBZSausville) reports.