News from Boston City Hall on recommendations by Mayor Walsh’s Late Night Task Force:
Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a set of recommendations made by his Late Night Task Force to help foster and grow a safe and vibrant late night culture in the City of Boston. The task force, which formally concluded its work in 2015, was comprised of a diverse group of students, restaurants and bar owners, law enforcement and business leaders from across the city.
“In the City of Boston we have an opportunity to create the kind of nightlife that visitors expect in a world-class city,” said Mayor Walsh in a press release. “I thank all the members of the task force who came together over the course of several months to help us think about how to make Boston a more exciting and engaging place to live, work and play. I look forward to further exploring these recommendations to make Boston even more enjoyable for everyone.”
“The MRA applauds the efforts of the Mayor and the City of Boston in moving forward these initiatives,” said Bob Luz, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. “Common sense approaches, such as allowing small operators to serve food after 10PM and removing unnecessary regulations on downtown operators will continue to make Boston flourish. All neighborhoods of Boston benefit from increased restaurant vibrancy and occupancy. When the Mayor was first elected, he pledged to streamline the regulatory process and he has delivered on that promise.”
- Extend liquor license hours within designated downtown area with the proper hearing;
- Allow restaurants that have 10pm or 11pm license citywide to extend to midnight with proper hearing and community process;
- Activate pilot areas throughout downtown Boston to extend liquor license hours. This option requires legislative action.
- Establishments should be allowed to serve drinks on a patio or deck without the requirement to serve food, unless otherwise stipulated at hearing;
- In an effort to make it easier for operators to renew their Certificate of Inspection (CI), inspections should be automatically scheduled by the proper departments once their invoice is paid for the new CI;
- Streamline all licensing requirements to eliminate redundant licenses and requirements.
- Live entertainment and music played on patios should be able to extend later in the evening if local residents are not disturbed.
The Late Night Task Force was established in May 2014 with the goal of examining business districts and neighborhoods that are favorable for later closing hours; public safety requirements of expanded late night hours; existing liquor license restrictions; entertainment license expansion; late night transportation access; and how to effectively launch the expanded services. Rory Cuddyer, former Advisor to the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and current startup manager, and John Fitzgerald, Deputy Director of Imagine Boston 2030, served as co-chairs of the task force, along with 24 individuals who were appointed by the Mayor.