The mayor's office announced today that restaurants across the city, except in the city's most restaurant-heavy neighborhood, can once again apply for permission to use city sidewalks and parking spaces for outdoor dining starting April 1.
The city is holding off on the North End for now because residents of the densely packed neighborhood have been raising holy hell about what the program does to their on-street parking spaces along streets such as Hanover and Salem. Or as the mayor's office more politely puts it:
The North End is currently undergoing a community review of the outdoor dining program as special considerations are needed due to the density of the restaurants in the neighborhood. North End restaurants can still submit an application while awaiting follow-up information from the City of Boston on how the program will proceed in the neighborhood.
This year's version of outdoor dining has a few regulatory changes, including a closing time for temporary outdoor patios of 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, beefed up barrier-safety and insurance requirements and a requirement that restaurants supply an evacuation plan for their tempoary tables.