Monday, May 25, 2020

Needham Sets Up Outdoor Areas for Diners Doing Takeout from Restaurants

As the city of Boston and other communities across the region look into ways to help restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, a suburb west of the city has come up with an interesting idea that was put into place late last week.

According to a source and a Patch article, the town of Needham has set up picnic tables on the common in the center of town, the common in Needham Heights, and the Eaton Square pedestrian plaza between Needham Bank and the commuter rail tracks, all of which can be used by customers for both takeout food and drinks (including alcoholic beverages). The town put this in place because restaurants in Massachusetts continue to be under restrictions in which they are only allowed to do takeout and/or delivery and their outdoor dining areas are off-limits along with their indoor spaces; in the article, Select Board member Marianne Cooley explains that "We want to do what we can as a Town to make sure our restaurants emerge from this pandemic stronger than before and give our residents the opportunity to enjoy these establishments while staying healthy and safe. This is just one step we can take to help; we'll continue to work with restaurants and the business community to find additional ways to help and support them as our economy begins to reopen."

Currently, restaurants in Massachusetts will be allowed to reopen with restrictions in the Phase 2 part of the plan announced by Governor Baker last week, with Phase 2 possibly beginning as early as two weeks from today. (Bars are part of Phase 3, so they won't be able to reopen for five weeks at the very earliest, as each phase lasts for at least three weeks.)

by Marc Hurwitz (Also follow us on Twitter at @hiddenboston)

[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]