North End restaurant owners and Mayor Wu spar over compensation

Bestinau got that-


Wu said she is “prepared to retire from dining in the North End before the start of this season.”

Outdoor dining on Hanover Street in the North End.

After a recent debate over an outdoor dining fee between the city and North End restaurateurs, Mayor Michelle Wu is threatening to end all outdoor dining in the neighborhood, according to a letter obtained by WCVB.

“If a critical mass of restaurant owners also believe that this program is unworkable as proposed, then I am willing to stop dining in the North End before the start of this season,” Wu wrote.

  • Jim Davis/Globe Staff

    North End Restaurants Organize for a $7,500 Fee for Outdoor Dining

  • ‘Very unfair:’ North End restaurateurs will have to pay extra to dine al fresco – and some aren’t happy

Wu’s letter comes after the enclave’s eateries expressed deep frustration with a $7,500 fee plus monthly parking fees required for alfresco dining in the North End. The restaurants in the area also have a later start date and an earlier end date for outdoor dining than the rest of the city.

The Boston Globe reported that some establishments were receiving legal advice and that 60 restaurant owners met with a lawyer during a Zoom call on Friday. The co-owner of Monica’s Trattoria, Frank Mendoza, told the Globe he wants to file a lawsuit by April 1 — the first day of outdoor dining for other Boston neighborhoods.

In her letter, Wu cited residents’ complaints and “deep opposition to any form of outdoor dining” at two public community gatherings as the reason for the compensation.

She added that the North End had three times as many restaurant patios on the street compared to the next highest neighborhood and the highest number of complaints related to “noise, congestion, rodents, and street cleanliness from outdoor dining.”

“As believers in the benefits of alfresco dining, we developed the North End program in an effort to strike the right balance one last time with thoughtful space, time constraints, increased safety features and other resources needed to mitigate the parking impacts. to decrease. , garbage, rodents and public safety,” Wu wrote.

In two-tenths of a square mile in the North End, Wu said there were 77 dining terraces, 70 of which were on public land. For comparison, she said Back Bay had 51 outside patio and 21 on the street.

Currently, a petition launched Thursday by restaurant owners in the area to end the $7,500 fee has more than 15,000 signatures.

“The smallest, hard-working mom-and-pop restaurants that help keep the North End neighborhood authentic and thriving cannot bear this cost,” the petition’s description reads.

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