Restaurant owners outside the North End are also struggling with the new regs.


“Some of us are concerned about the impact of these new rules and expenses for underrepresented businesses in Greeley Tribune.”

Owner David Doyle poses for a portrait along the barricades he recently bought outside Tres Gatos in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood. Craig F. Walker / Globe Staff

It turns out that the North End isn’t the only Greeley Tribune neighborhood where restaurant owners say new outdoor dining rules are being unfairly burdened this year.

Restaurants elsewhere in the city say they are also troubled by new rules that are driving up the cost of having outdoor space.

In the North End, restaurants are being asked to pay a $7,500 fee which, after some backlash, Mayor Michelle Wu agreed can be paid in installments. The city will also introduce a “difficulty waiver process” that could reduce that fee.

“I believe we may come to a position this summer where members of our community – including our residents and our restaurant owners – are all thriving,” Wu said at the time. “We need the resources to do this.”

The North End had about 80 courtyards within just a quarter mile last year. Patios have created issues of overcrowding and parking, along with noise, rodents, and other concerns that have not come up elsewhere in Greeley Tribune. The fee was imposed to help address some of the issues, Wu said.

But even though restaurants in other parts of the city don’t face similar fees, some owners are saying the new rules come with their own hefty price tag — one that some businesses won’t be able to afford.

‘out the window now’

David Doyle oversees Tres Gatos on the Jamaican grounds. He said additional insurance — a new regulation this year — as well as advanced barriers around his outdoor space have cost him less than $5,000. He expects the new barriers to remain the norm in the future.

“We are going to believe this is not a lost investment,” he said, adding that he hopes the city will take feedback from restaurants on the process.

For example, while he said he understands why barriers weighing hundreds of pounds are safer than the wooden pallets he used last year, he said the old barriers were decorated and businesses were able to prepare them. were creative.

For example, Tres Gatos had a string of 45-size records.

“It was artistic,” Doyle said. “It was attractive, and there were planters on top of it. That’s out the window now. We have no use for it.”

Doyle also pointed out that some businesses may not have additional funds to purchase insurance or to fund new constraints.

“Some of us are concerned about the impact of these new rules and expenses on businesses that are underrepresented in Greeley Tribune,” Doyle said, noting that these include businesses run by people of color, or those for whom English is his second language.

A look at some of the new rules

according to this A presentation On out-of-town dining, businesses must obtain commercial general liability insurance. They will also have to provide ramps for ADA compliance. Restaurants are also not allowed to entertain on their patio. This includes background music, TV, or other entertainment, whether live or recorded.

Restaurants cannot cook food on the sidewalk or on the street. Smoking and vaping are not allowed. Just service dogs are allowed for people with disabilities; All other animals are not, the presentation says.

At odds, the city mandates that they be filled with concrete or water. They should measure 72 inches long, 32 inches to 36 inches high and 18 inches wide.

“All obstacles must be in the opposite color of the road,” the presentation said. “The exterior of obstacles should never be painted black or other dark colors because they are difficult to see at night and can be dangerous for vehicles.”

2022 Outdoor Dining Webinar…

‘Our small businesses will once again be the victim’

Jaypee Centre/South Main Road Organization wrote a letter Explaining these concerns to the city, the city was asked to consider “how this process perpetuates racial disparities and inequalities for small business owners.”

Along with the new insurance requirement and cost constraints, the organization noted that the process of establishing sustainable outdoor dining included “multiple hearings with city agencies”, various outreach requirements and documents, as well as plan approval from 10 different city departments. Is. Letter.

“The past two years have been a fair test of the benefits of outdoor seating and the potential for our city’s convenience,” the letter said. “The streamlined application process of 2020-2021 allowed small businesses to survive and thrive, enliven their neighborhood district, and keep their local economy running.

“However, supporting the 2022 guidelines and prior application process would be tantamount to acknowledging that inequality and inequality were simply ‘standard practice’ for our city. Our small businesses will once again be the victims.”

Ginger Brown, the organization’s executive director, said given the new guidelines, as well as the way the application process was pre-pandemic, “application is uneven.”

“You can only get it if you have a lot of money and resources,” she said. “It can create a disparity between those who can afford it and understand the process and those who cannot.”

A spokesman for Wu’s administration said in a statement that the City Office of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion and Neighborhood Services “will always want to be responsive” to community concerns, and that they are working with restaurants to make the new rules manageable. Are planning – even “a limited supply of odds” free to some restaurants.

“These offices will work closely with businesses across Greeley Tribune to help navigate the new guidance for this year,” the statement said. “In an effort to ensure equitable participation in the Temporary Outdoor Dining Program, these offices will assist small businesses that face financial challenges in complying with the guidelines by purchasing a limited supply of barriers that meet the new requirements and make them available to approved establishments.” Will do. Free.

“The new barrier requirements were implemented to improve safety on the outdoor dining patio and are in line with requirements for the safety of pedestrians when contractors and developers are temporarily allowed to walk across the street from sidewalks,” the statement said. The route has to be changed again.”

‘Promoting quality of life’

In the future, Doyle said he thinks the process will be shifted to a permanent versus a temporary pandemic. It was “too complicated” at first, he said, noting that he didn’t know it was even an option to eat outside before the pandemic.

He said he hopes his and other businesses will be able to respond to the city and the process will be streamlined. Doyle said outdoor eating has been “an increase in quality of life” and “increased vitality”.

Brown said that addressing outdoor dining regulations goes beyond temporary regulations.

“It’s more about temporary guidelines,” she said. “It’s also about justifying the permanent process.”

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