The tables must be arranged to allow at least 3 feet for pedestrians on the sidewalk. McMahon said officials are looking into whether smoking would be allowed in the outdoor dining area.
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal on Monday, May 20.
“I think it’s great news,” Council President Paul Guanci said at last week’s council meeting. “You see how it works in Boston. You see how it works in Salem. You see how it works in Newburyport. We’re always compared to Newburyport because we have a harbor. We’re getting there, step by step.”
Guanci, who owns Super Sub on Cabot Street, said he is planning to put four tables outside of his business, but they will be on his own property, not on the city sidewalk. Businesses do not need approval for outdoor tables on their own property, unless they plan to serve alcohol.
Restaurant owner Magner said outdoor dining could provide a particular boost for Rantoul Street, an area the city is trying to improve.
“We’re working on changing what people think of Rantoul Street,” Magner said. “If you’ve got people sitting out there eating and dining and seeing the good side of Rantoul Street, I think it’s going to grow.”
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.