Restaurants in Boston's North End are officially open for outdoor dining starting Sunday.
The outdoor accommodations in the historic neighborhood come a month after the outdoor dining season officially began for the rest of Boston. The reason for the delay stems from financial disputes between North End restaurant owners and Mayor Michelle Wu.
Restaurant owners in the North End were required to pay a $7,500 fee to set up outdoor dining on the city of Boston-owned sidewalks and streets. Additional fees included a $450 payment to the city for each parking spot covered up by tables, chairs and road barricades.
New demands from the city this year also included mandatory car and workers compensation insurance, along with requiring jersey barriers to be used for outdoor dining borders as opposed to ropes or plants for added safety.
However, these obstacles have not deterred restaurant owners in the North End, who are still enthusiastic about their participation despite the extra steps it took to get there.
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“The summertime is here," said Dan Pasquale, a restaurant owner in the North End. "We ran one month after everybody else, but we’re ready to go and we’re going to show people a great time. And all the owners and all the managers and all the staff are so excited to put it together for them.”
North End restaurants aren't wasting any time catching up, with many planning to serve Sunday brunch.