City, News

Wu extends outdoor dining program for Boston restaurants until late December

Mayor Michelle Wu sitting at Angela's Cafe
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu sitting in Angela’s Cafe in East Boston Saturday morning. Wu announced the extension of the city’s outdoor dining season to Dec. 31, allowing authorized establishments to operate on public streets and private patios. MOHAN GE/ DFP STAFF

To benefit more than 400 small businesses licensed to operate in Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu announced Nov. 24 the extension of the outdoor dining season from the original deadline, this Wednesday, to Dec. 31.

With the new extension in place, all authorized establishments, excluding those in the North End,  are permitted to allow outdoor dining on public streets and private patios. 

“Activating public spaces to expand outdoor dining helps bolster our local businesses during pandemic recovery and creates connected communities spaces for residents, visitors, and families,” Wu is quoted saying in a Nov. 24 press release. 

City officials previously relaxed local regulations for outdoor seating until a series of state waivers that permitted outdoor dining at restaurants expired. The waivers were signed in June by Gov. Charlie Baker during the COVID-19 pandemic and were originally set to end Nov. 1 for restaurants in the North End and Dec. 1 for all other Boston area restaurants.

The City’s ban on tents on public property and extension cords across sidewalks, snow regulations and need for propane heater and fuel storage permits still apply. Restaurants with portable ramps may keep them until further notice, the statement read.

Restaurants with outdoor seating on public sidewalks are licensed to continue operating under the Temporary Outdoor Dining Program until April 1, 2022. 

Wu announced that in addition to the extension of the Temporary Outdoor Dining Program she will be working closely with city and state departments to create a long-term outdoor dining plan with clear guidelines for weather and safety.

“Expanding to winter outdoor dining will help our communities stay safe, healthy and vibrant,” Wu is quoted saying in the Nov. 24 press release. 

The extension was created in coordination with other Boston offices, such as the Boston Fire Department, the Public Works Department and the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services to spark recovery for local businesses in the restaurant sector impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release. 

“I’m excited to extend this program through our holiday season and look forward to supporting our small businesses as anchors for our neighborhoods,” Wu said in the release.


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