News Flash

News from Town Manager/Select Board

Posted on: May 21, 2020

Town Creates Outdoor Dining Spaces for the Public to Enjoy Local Restaurant Takeout

Beginning Friday, picnic tables will be located around Town for open air consumption of takeout food and beverages from local restaurants

Needham -- Thursday, May 21, 2020 – In advance of the Memorial Day holiday, the Town of Needham announced today that it will create outdoor dining spaces for restaurant-goers to enjoy takeout food and beverages from local establishments outdoors this summer.

Beginning Friday, picnic tables will be located on the Town Common, Needham Heights Common and Eaton Square (plaza between Needham Bank and Needham Center commuter rail tracks). Tables will be spaced apart to allow for social distancing and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to restaurant patrons.

“Like many businesses, the restaurant industry has suffered tremendously throughout this crisis,” said Select Board member Marianne Cooley. “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.”

The state’s re-opening order does not allow restaurants to serve customers indoors or outdoors until later phases of re-opening. Therefore, restaurants may not serve diners at the picnic tables or at their own outdoor tables.

Patrons may take their food and beverages, including alcohol purchased as part of a meal, to any of the outdoor tables. Alcohol may not be consumed outside of the designated areas. Trash
barrels will be available at each location for disposal of takeout items, and the public is required to throw out and clean their area when they have finished their meals. Tables may not be re-located.

The outdoor area closes to the public at 11 pm every evening.

The Town is unable to provide handwashing stations, restrooms or sanitizing materials. The public is urged to carry their own hand sanitizer and wipes as well as corkscrews/bottle openers if consuming alcohol.

In addition to support from the Select Board, Planning Board, Board of Health, Department of Public Works and other Town employees, this offering is made possible with help from the Charles River YMCA, which is providing some picnic tables.

The Town will evaluate this program on an ongoing basis to determine its success and may adjust as necessary.

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