The City of Boston has announced the launch of an outdoor dining pilot program for the 2021 season, beginning April 1, 2021 and continuing through December 1, 2021, weather permitting.
The program will build on initiatives from this year’s program, such as streamlined permitting and outdoor patios on roadways that enable restaurants with narrow sidewalks to offer patio seating to patrons, as well as offer new features based on community feedback.
Applications for outdoor dining licenses on both public and private property are now open and can be accessed here: https://bostonopendata.knack.com/outdoor-dining#welcome.
The initial deadline for licensees to submit an application is January 18, 2021. Applicants who meet this deadline will receive a decision or follow-up questions from the City by February 19, 2021. Applications will still be accepted after January 18 and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Restaurants who took part in the 2020 temporary outdoor dining program and who wish to do so in 2021 must re-apply. The City will also be accepting applications from restaurants who did not take part in the 2020 program.
There will be virtual application help sessions to assist restaurants in preparing and submitting their applications. The first session is scheduled for Wednesday, December 16 at 5:00 pm. Registration is required.
The following changes have been/will be made based on public feedback from the 2020 program:
- Moving the application process to another online platform where businesses can track the status of their applications for more transparency
- Additional time built into the process, so that restaurants can procure proper materials and plan for operations that will include an outdoor dining space
- Clear guidance for outdoor dining on public and private property that will be available in both English and Spanish, with other languages available upon request.
- Consistent enforcement that will focus on ensuring licensees adhere to all requirements issued by the City to ensure outdoor dining is safe and enjoyable
- 1:1 assistance for restaurant owners who require support and/or translation of the online application
Read more at www.boston.gov/2021outdoordining.