Outdoor dining in the city will now include a spot for … Spot, your dog. (Herald file photo)
Reservations for man’s best friend could soon be taken.
The city Inspectional Services Department has created a new policy that will allow restaurants to create outdoor spaces where dog owners and their four-legged family members can hang out together.
City officials say the new “dog-friendly spaces” variance is open to all restaurants and beer gardens with outdoor space depending on application status. Those that are approved can be ready to welcome dogs as early as June 1.
There are some caveats to the variance. The spaces must be completely outdoors, and establishments will not be allowed to prepare food around dogs. Patrons who bring their pooches are responsible for their pet’s behavior. The dog must be on a leash at all times.
“Residents and small business owners have been eager for four-legged family members to be able to enjoy our outdoor spaces too,” Mayor Michelle Wu said in a release, “so we’re happy to make this regulatory change allowing dogs on outdoor patios and beer gardens.”
Allston resident Laura Jillian Gray, in a release, said it devastated her that she had to travel to nearby towns with her dog since she “didn’t feel welcome” in her neighborhood, which is becoming more friendly toward pooches, with a dog park opening last November.
“It means a lot to me to know that the city listened when I pointed out how upsetting it was that we created a new dog park, but still didn’t allow dogs in beer gardens or outdoor establishments in Boston,” Gray said. “With this new change to allow dogs, I can’t wait to enjoy this summer in Allston again.”
The mayor on Thursday joined officials from Emerson College and family-owned local businesses Trillium Brewing and El Barrio Tacos at a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebration at the city’s newest beer garden, “UnCommon Stage and the Trillium Garden on the Common.”
Outdoor dining season commenced this week across the city, with more than two dozen restaurants participating. About 50 applications are in review, the mayor told the Herald earlier this week.
The kick-off of the season this year has been different than previous years, with accessibility and other requirement leniencies under the pandemic no longer in effect and outdoor dining now largely banned in the North End.