BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Friday that outdoor dining for approved restaurants in the city will now begin on Monday, March 22 instead of the original planned date of April 1.
Mayor Walsh made the announcement in collaboration with the Boston Licensing Board because of warm weather forecasts in the Commonwealth.
“Outdoor dining was one of the bright spots last summer and fall, and we’ve seen the benefits it has had on our neighborhoods," Walsh said. "I’m thrilled we are able to start this program even earlier, and I look forward to businesses and residents taking advantage of it.”
The 2021 Outdoor Dining Pilot Program will include similar measures to last year's season -- including a permit system and outdoor patios on city streets that accommodate restaurants located in areas with narrow sidewalks.
If they haven't already, restaurants can still apply for outdoor dining licenses for both public and private properties through the city's online portal. The application has been open since December of 2020, and officials have already approved over 200 Boston restaurants.
Restaurants that took part in the 2020 outdoor program must re-apply to be able to continue the offering in 2021. City officials have held a series of virtual training sessions to help businesses applying for the program, which can also be found on the city's website.
The 2021 pilot program has a tentative end date of December 1, 2021, weather permitting.