On-street outdoor dining begins in Boston — except city’s North End
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On-street outdoor dining begins in Boston — except city’s North End

Outdoor dining began in Boston Wednesday, but restaurant owners in the North End held a protest over the restrictions in their neighborhood. On-street outdoor dining is not allowed in the North End, but is permitted in all other parts of the city For the second year in a row, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s administration announced that no permits will be issued for on-street outdoor dining in the North End.Restaurant owners hung up banners over Hanover Street. One reads: If you want a reservation for outdoor dining call 311, which is a city number where you can lodge complaints.Owners protested and handed out pizza on Wednesday afternoon to gather support for their cause. “We’re reaching out and extending an olive branch again to the Mayor to sit down with us,” said Bill Galatis, co-owner of Tresca said. Wu’s administration cited the North End’s high density of restaurants, foot traffic, narrow streets, narrow sidewalks and parking scarcity as reasons for the unique restriction on on-street outdoor dining.”These quality of life issues the city has complained about are a false narrative,” said Carla Agrippino Gomez, a restaurant owner who resides in the North End.”We have Italian Americans running Italian American restaurants in Italian American neighborhoods. We’d like to know why is it that Mayor Wu, as she says she has very fond memories of the North End, gives us the (bleep!),” expressed Jorge Mendoza.In January, nearly two dozen North End restaurant owners filed a lawsuit against the city of Boston, claiming “unequal, unfair, and discriminatory treatment” through several versions of the city’s outdoor dining program.In response to the lawsuit, the mayor said in a written statement, “We’re in the midst of litigation because the residents have been clear it cannot work in this very unique neighborhood unless there’s a pretty specific solution for it, and we haven’t been able to get there given the litigation.”Forcella’s restaurant in the North End has a private patio. “Our patio’s completely private so you feel like you’re in a little square in Italy,” said Nino Trotta, the owner.”I respect the city’s decision and hopefully soon we can find the balance where everybody’s happy everybody’s safe,” Trotta said.Many restaurants say are still struggling to recover from the impact of COVID-19. The mayor’s office has stated that compromises have been proposed, but the ongoing lawsuit makes it difficult to have a productive conversation.

Outdoor dining began in Boston Wednesday, but restaurant owners in the North End held a protest over the restrictions in their neighborhood.

On-street outdoor dining is not allowed in the North End, but is permitted in all other parts of the city

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For the second year in a row, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s administration announced that no permits will be issued for on-street outdoor dining in the North End.

Restaurant owners hung up banners over Hanover Street. One reads: If you want a reservation for outdoor dining call 311, which is a city number where you can lodge complaints.

Owners protested and handed out pizza on Wednesday afternoon to gather support for their cause.

outdoor dining call 311 signs north end

“We’re reaching out and extending an olive branch again to the Mayor to sit down with us,” said Bill Galatis, co-owner of Tresca said.

Wu’s administration cited the North End’s high density of restaurants, foot traffic, narrow streets, narrow sidewalks and parking scarcity as reasons for the unique restriction on on-street outdoor dining.

“These quality of life issues the city has complained about are a false narrative,” said Carla Agrippino Gomez, a restaurant owner who resides in the North End.

“We have Italian Americans running Italian American restaurants in Italian American neighborhoods. We’d like to know why is it that Mayor Wu, as she says she has very fond memories of the North End, gives us the (bleep!),” expressed Jorge Mendoza.

north end dining sign "call 311"

Sharman Sacchetti/WCVB

In January, nearly two dozen North End restaurant owners filed a lawsuit against the city of Boston, claiming “unequal, unfair, and discriminatory treatment” through several versions of the city’s outdoor dining program.

In response to the lawsuit, the mayor said in a written statement, “We’re in the midst of litigation because the residents have been clear it cannot work in this very unique neighborhood unless there’s a pretty specific solution for it, and we haven’t been able to get there given the litigation.”

Forcella’s restaurant in the North End has a private patio.

“Our patio’s completely private so you feel like you’re in a little square in Italy,” said Nino Trotta, the owner.

“I respect the city’s decision and hopefully soon we can find the balance where everybody’s happy everybody’s safe,” Trotta said.

Many restaurants say are still struggling to recover from the impact of COVID-19. The mayor’s office has stated that compromises have been proposed, but the ongoing lawsuit makes it difficult to have a productive conversation.

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