City of Cambridge Extends Outdoor Dining

 Cambridge, MA, September 18, 2020 – The City of Cambridge announced today it is extending outdoor dining in the City until 60 days after the end of the Commonwealth’s declared state of emergency. This announcement follows the Governor’s Executive Order last week, which gave cities and towns the flexibility to extend outdoor dining past the initial November 1 deadline. 

“Making sure our restaurants and small businesses have every opportunity to stay open and viable during these times is critical,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale, “As a city, we are working closely with Cambridge’s business community to understand their needs and find innovative and flexible solutions to assist during these challenging times.” 

On Monday, the License Commission voted unanimously to automatically extend all currently issued permits for outdoor dining areas. Establishments that have not yet been granted or applied for an outdoor dining extension can still do so by contacting the Cambridge License Commission at 617-349-6140 or license@cambridgema.gov

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our local restaurants tremendously, and outdoor dining has been a saving grace during this time,” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui. “Expanding the length of time restaurants can operate outdoor dining is an important move. It’s one way we can make sure our restaurants continue generating revenue into the winter months.”  

In anticipation of continuing outdoor dining, the City has been meeting with the business and restaurant communities to plan for what a four-season outdoor dining experience will look like. 

“Expanding outdoor dining has been vital for our restaurants and the community as a whole,” said Jason Alves, Executive Director of the East Cambridge Business Association. “We appreciate the City’s action to extend outdoor dining for all seasons to continue to help support our local small business community.” 

“Our goal is to allow establishments to keep their outdoor patio dining operating for as long as they want to and if weather permits. We plan to allow outdoor dining year-round in accordance with the Governor’s executive order, knowing, however, that there may be periods this winter when the weather will require us to suspend the program temporarily,” said DePasquale. 

A team from the City, along with representatives from local Cambridge business associations and the restaurant community, will continue to meet to work out a plan for winter.  A process is being developed to modify or amend establishments’ Temporary Sidewalk/Street Patio License Agreements as quickly as possible, and the City hopes to have this up and running in the coming days.  

To learn more about outdoor dining in Cambridge, visit Cambridgema.gov/license

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