Haverhill Councilors to Consider Expanding Outdoor Restaurant Dining Throughout the City

Issa Zefta, left, and Michael Middleton of Maria’s Family Restaurant prepared an alley space for outdoor dining during the pandemic. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill city councilors are being asked to consider an outdoor dining plan that, at least temporarily, covers the entire city rather than just downtown.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini told councilors in a letter Friday the proposal simply extends last year’s pandemic-shaped outdoor dining plan, but will eventually be consolidated with the city’s standard open-air eating and drinking ordinance.

“This ordinance extends outdoor dining to throughout the city, not just the central business district, and again allows for temporary parklets where it is safe and approved by our Health and Inspectional Services Department,” the mayor wrote. He added a wide cross section of Haverhill restaurants, meeting at Northern Essex Community College’s downtown culinary arts center, are “strongly in favor” of the plan.

Participating establishments included Battle Grounds Coffee Co, Barking Dog Ale House, Carbone’s Kitchen, G’s Texas Southern Flare, Hard Body Meals, The Tap, Joseph’s Trattoria Bakery Café, Keon’s Bistro, Krueger Flatbread and Olivia’s, Raff’s Café, Stacks, Peddler’s Daughter, Shoe City Urban Bistro and Triana’s Real Mexican Food.

Participating restaurants must still limit patrons to the businesses’ occupancy limits, maintain pedestrian walkways and limit furniture to movable chairs, tables, umbrellas and heat lamps. Temporary awnings or tents must be approved by the city’s right-of-way inspector.

Businesses must remove any outdoor fixtures by Nov. 9.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, councilors approved allowing restaurants to expand seating into off-street parking lots, sidewalks and, in some cases, the street. The mayor also used federal money to help businesses buy heaters, plastic shielding, air filters and offset commercial rents.

The Haverhill City Council meets at 7 p.m. remotely and in-person at the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. Council Chambers, room 202, Haverhill City Hall, 4 Summer St., As a public service, 97.9 WHAV plans to carry the meeting live.

Comments are closed.