Business, Local Government and Politics, News

Lynn setting the table for outdoor dining

This article was published 2 year(s) and 7 month(s) ago.

LYNN — The city of Lynn has about $65,000 left to spend on outdoor dining from a September grant, and is currently seeking local businesses interested in receiving support.

The grant, awarded to the city in partnership with Lynn Main Streets (LMS) through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program, has already provided support to several Lynn restaurants through “creative reopening” solutions, including collaborations with local artists.

“The goal is to set up a few more businesses with the outdoor seating before spring and summer,” said the Associate City Planner Lauren Drago. “It makes it a little safer from a COVID perspective for people to come and support their restaurants. It feels very Lynn to walk around and see these cool spaces.”

Leftover funding from the $81,132 grant, along with funds from a separate MassDOT grant, comprise the remaining $65,000 that the city intends to distribute.

The city has distributed funding to six businesses — Rossetti’s at 47 Sutton St. (a collaboration with Beyond Walls), Los Chamos at 27 Union St., One Mighty Mill at 68 Exchange St., Antojitos Chapines at 116 Central Avenue, Christopher’s Cafe on 2 Lewis St., and Boba Tea & Snow Ice House at City Hall Square and 159 Central Ave.

“The gesture was really appreciated,” said Tony Rosenfeld, a co-founder of One Mighty Mill, whose restaurant received jersey barriers painted by Raw Art Works as part of the outdoor dining program. “Normally you’re used to a push and pull between the city and businesses, but in this instance it was completely opposite.”

While he did report that the barriers came a little late in the season to affect his business significantly, he was looking forward to returning to outdoor dining in the spring.

“I’m definitely optimistic about opening up outdoor dining in the spring,” he said. “It amazes me how much people are able to endure cold and elements so that they can be at places they like.”

Along with designing the barriers, funding is intended to purchase equipment, such as decking, barriers, heaters, lighting, tables and chairs, and to provide free help with designing and building outdoor dining spaces.

According to Drago, nine additional businesses have already reached out to the city regarding outdoor dining assistance. She expects that outdoor dining will remain a feature of the city even after the pandemic has ended.

“I feel like the city got a lot of practice in making these spaces possible,” said Drago. “In the future, we’ll be better equipped if businesses want to continue doing this or if new businesses want to sign on. Hopefully we’ll see more outdoor dining soon.”

Businesses interested in pursuing this grant are asked to fill out the city’s outdoor dining survey.

Guthrie Scrimgeour can be reached at [email protected]




More Stories From Lynn