BOSTON - Some Boston establishments got in a bit of a pickle on Tuesday for using their patios to accommodate crowds that turned out for the Patriots' championship parade.
Several restaurants told Boston 25 News that lots of people showed up early and asked to be seated on the patio, only to be booted from their prime spots moments before the Pats passed on by.
With an estimated 1.5 million people packing into Boston to ring in the Pats sixth Super Bowl title, finding the perfect spot took planning.
"People want to come out. They want to have lunch. They want to be able to sit on the patio and watch the parade go by," said Nicole Russo, restaurant publicist.
Russo picked her spot early at Ora on Boylston, a restaurant she does publicist work for. The restaurant allowed her and other patrons to be served on the patio, bringing out furniture from inside.
Pats fans kicked off patios during picture perfect celebration & restaurants cited for serving outside of “official patio season”. Why some say the city “rained on their parade” #Boston25 at 11 pic.twitter.com/mMb3zSjWWt— Drew Karedes (@DrewKaredes) February 6, 2019
But before the parade came through, the tables got turned when police showed up and shut down the patio.
"Everyone had to take their plates and drinks and come inside with their food," Russo said.
"I said, 'Are you just hitting restaurant with a citation?' He said, 'No, I'm going up and down Boylston Street,'" Russo said.
Boston Police confirmed that it issued five licensed premise violations.
The one given to Ora cites the restaurant for operating a seasonal patio outside of licensing board restriction, which allows patio service from April 1 to Oct. 31.
"The trophy was just seconds away, literally, as we were having this conversation, the trophy went by. I didn’t even get a picture of it," said Josephine Oliviero-Megwa, managing partner at Ora.
"If there were some type of procedure to get a temporary permit in place for the day, of course, I would’ve done it," Oliviero-Megwa said.
Restaurant owners are now waiting for a hearing date. They say getting any type of special permit through the city of Boston typically takes at least a month.
And 30 days ago, they say they couldn’t have predicted the combination of a Pats victory and parade temps in the 60s.
“I think you’ve got to leave the businesses alone. Let them do their own thing. Beautiful day, people want to be outside, eat their food and have a drink or two," said Patriots fan Steve Mullaney.
"You need to have control. If everyone did everything they wanted, it’d be chaos," said Patriots fan Yvonne Venuti.
Boston 25 News reached out to the city officials for clarification on rules about patio season, but we were referred to Boston Police, who would only confirm the number of violations it issued Tuesday.
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