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North End restaurant owners upset city allowed outdoor dining on Canal Street

North End restaurant owners feel singled out after city allows Canal Street outdoor dining
North End restaurant owners feel singled out after city allows Canal Street outdoor dining 02:12

BOSTON - North End restaurant owners are feeling singled out after Mayor Wu allowed outdoor dining for restaurants along Canal Street for the Bruins and Celtics playoff games.

Long before Monday night's puck drop, the street leading up to the TD Garden was cleared of cars. The city closed Canal Street before and after playoff games allowing fans and restaurants to spill out into the street.

"We are excited to give Boston Fans a space to safely gather, cheer on their favorite teams, and support our local businesses," Wu said in a statement.

North End restaurant owners now feel iced out, after the city announced outdoor dining would not be allowed there this summer.

"Immediately it was an uproar," said Jorge Mendoza of Vinoteca di Monica in the North End.

Hurricane's, outdoor dining, canal street
Hurricane's at the Garden on Canal Street  CBS Boston

"That's not a safety issue Mayor Wu? Mayor Wu is that not a safety issue to you?" said Damien DiPaola, of Carmelina's.

Mayor Wu's office has stated the North End provides logistical challenges for traffic, trash collection and street cleaning, but has granted the right to Canal Street, just a few blocks away.

"Thousands and thousands of people drinking in the middle of the street during playoff games. Hello!?" DiPaola said.

"Equity does not mean the same for the folks in the North End as it does to the folks in other neighborhoods," Mendoza said.

This past weekend's weather was picture perfect, the first of many that often draw consumers outdoors.

"We felt it at the beginning of our shifts for dinner. We felt it during the afternoon," Mendoza said. "Outdoor patio season doesn't start until May 1 so when everyone is open outside on a sunny day, how can you blame the consumer in taking a seat outside?"

As it stands, Canal Street will be closed to cars three hours before the game to one hour after. Restaurants can extend into the street starting at the same time but have to clean up an hour after the game starts.

Fair rules, these restaurant owners wish they had the chance to play by.

"I am glad the businesses get to do that. God bless them," DiPaola said. "We should all be on the same level playing field that's it. Why just the North End?"  

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