Outdoor dining could be first step for Boston restaurants to reopen

BOSTON — We are getting a firsthand look at how it will look when Boston's businesses start to reopen.

Caffe Zia Gianna has been serving up its Italian traditions on a take-out basis only. Now the owner is excited to hear the city has a plan to help businesses reopen with outdoor dining.

Business owner Nino Barbalace showed Boston 25 News where on the sidewalk he could possibly fit three tables.

"We would love to have people sit down in terms of monetary term and also it's kind of weird to have the place empty,” Barbalace said. “The reason I opened this restaurant is to have people around."

"We are not doing any kind of permanent construction changes here,” Boston Transportation Planning Director Vineet Gupta said. “All of this is temporary. Barrels, cones, police horses and the like."

>>>MORE: Research shows airflow needed to prevent spread of COVID-19 in businesses and restaurants

Gupta said his team is working on a plan where, in some areas, they may move street parking into a travel lane and use the parking spots and part of the sidewalk for the outdoor dining area.

"We have to really design this location by location,” he said. “As you know in Boston, each street is different."

Businesses said this one step closer to normal business will be a huge boost.

“[To] have the possibility to come in and sit down and enjoy our food would be great,” Barbalace said.

>>>MORE: Restaurant owners, managers ask Gov. Baker to reopen next Tuesday