Janey backs long-term outdoor dining

Boston Statehouse
Kim Janey

Former Boston City Council President Kim Janey, 55, composes herself as she begins to speak after being sworn in as Boston’s new mayor at City Hall, Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Boston. Janey, who is the city’s first female and first person of color to take the office, replaces Marty Walsh who resigned Monday evening to become President Joe Biden’s labor secretary. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

BOSTON (SHNS) – On the heels of Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to extend outdoor dining allowances initially put in place as a pandemic response, Boston Mayor Kim Janey said her administration will work to make expanded outdoor dining a long-term staple in her city.

“This has been a lifeline for our restaurants and we certainly welcome any support from the state that will allow us here in Boston to continue outdoor dining experience — not just for the restaurants as a lifeline for them, but we have also seen that our residents enjoy this experience,” she said Tuesday at City Hall.

Many practices that have become common during the COVID era are set to expire soon after Baker lifts the state of emergency, putting pressure on Beacon Hill to intervene and retain measures that in some cases are widely popular. The bill Baker filed Tuesday would empower municipalities to extend special outdoor dining permits through Nov. 29.

Without action, those permits expire 60 days after the state of emergency ends, which would force many restaurants to reshape their operations in mid-August.

“We will do everything to keep this going, not just this year but I think this is something from COVID and our relief to restaurants and business owners that we would want to see continue long-term and so we will certainly work toward that goal,” Janey said Tuesday. 

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