Watch CBS News

Swampscott expands sidewalks to create more outdoor dining

Swampscott moves to expand outdoor dining for summer season
Swampscott moves to expand outdoor dining for summer season 02:30

SWAMPSCOTT - Restaurants in the town of Swampscott are getting ready for a busy spring and summer season. And diners will see a big change as a sidewalk expansion project will create room for permanent outdoor dining. 

Restaurant owners say outdoor dining helps business

Dario Paone runs Volo Craft Pizza. His is one of many businesses that will benefit from the additional six-foot sidewalk expansion. "We are very tight in here. We don't have seating where people can sit down and enjoy pizza, so what's happening outside is definitely going to do great things for the business," Paoni said. 

Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald said during the pandemic, restaurants were forced to only allow outdoor dining. For the past three years, the town has been using jersey barriers to allow for outdoor dining. Now, the town will make some outdoor dining areas permanent. 

"These small businesses survived during the pandemic, and they need this town to really help them make the most out of this space," Fitzgerald said. 

State grant will fund expansion

And thanks to a $200,000 grant from the state's Shared Streets and Spaces Program, restaurant owners like Gregg Brackmon, who runs G Bar & Kitchen and Little G, said he can fit 40 more customers outside. "We really look forward to this time of year when we can really expand our restaurant seating quite a bit and generate a lot more revenue," Brackmon said. 

Final steps are now underway on Humphrey Street for places like Lincon's Landing. Laurie Pezzano has been on Humphrey Street for 22 years. "I am very excited. It's nice to see them doing something for the businesses. They've been really good since COVID," Pezzano said. 

What about street parking?

'But some customers are concerned about how the expanded sidewalks might impact parking. "I'm, in general, in favor with outdoor dining to support the local businesses, but the concerns I have is for the parking and how outdoor dining and tables taking up parking spots is going to effect people's ability to park in the city," Micheal Eisenhower said.

Town officials say the the sidewalk project will be finished by the end of the week - just in time for the outdoor dining season to begin.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.