Local restaurants prepare to open for outdoor dining

Coronavirus Local Impact

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – We are getting closer to the return of outdoor dining here in the state and as we do restaurants will need to be cautious as they begin reopening their dining areas.

As the state begins to look at reopening outdoor dining, Governor Charlie Baker issued workplace safety standards for restaurants as the state moves forward with its reopening plan.

Outdoor dining is set to begin at the start of phase two, which is planned for June 6. Social distancing protocols will need to be in place.

Restaurant owners like Andrew Brow of High Brow Wood Fired Kitchen and Bar have been getting their outdoor seating ready, once he gets the all-clear from the governor.

“It’s great because I am lucky to have a small outdoor dining space outside my restaurant but a lot of these restaurants don’t have that,” said Brow. “Belly of the Beast, those kinds of restaurants are tiny as it is so 50 percent capacity would be like 3 people in their restaurant,” Brow said.

Tables will need to be spaced six feet apart with a maximum party size of six people. For hygiene protocols, utensils and menus should be kept clean through single use or with strict sanitation guidelines. Reservations or call ahead seating is recommended and contactless payment, mobile ordering, or text on arrival for seating will also be encouraged.

Northampton announced that it received a $10,000 grant in design funding to encourage outdoor dining and easy curbside purchases on Main Street, consistent with COVID-19 safe distancing practices.

Indoor dining looks to become available in phase three of the state’s reopening process.
The timing on that has not yet been set.

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