WALTHAM (CBS) – It runs through the heart of Waltham and the city appears ready to once again close down several blocks on Moody Street to allow outdoor dining starting in April.
At Bistro 781, it’s just what they want to hear from a decision expected Friday. “Last summer it was something that got us through it, it was hugely beneficial to our business,” said manager Emily Stanton.READ MORE: Jewish Community Upset By Menorah Display In Medford: 'A Total Slap In The Face'
But as eager as restaurants are to haul out the tables and chairs, city hall has received another message in the form of a petition from a group of small business owners concerned about access and other issues. “There’s no municipal parking up here. This is the middle of the day but come four or five, the whole street is packed with cars,” said Jennifer Chase, a laundromat manager.
While there’s not yet been a final decision on what the closure will look like, businesses like the laundromat on upper Moody Street hope the plan won’t extend to them.READ MORE: Lawrence Shooting Leaves 1 Dead
“The city is not trying to put anybody out of business,” said Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy. She says the city conducted a survey on all Moody Street blocks in an effort to collect data for the traffic commissioner, but that doesn’t mean the entire street will be shut down. “We’re trying to make this area more business for you with more people, and we need to accommodate how they get there and how they park.”
The mayor says she will require permits this time and is encouraging all businesses, not just restaurants, to get involved with outdoor promotions. Salon owner Raj Sharma isn’t convinced that outdoor dining brings more business to her, but is keeping an open mind. “I might lose some clients when it’s closed, but I know I might get more clients, I believe in myself,” said Sharma.MORE NEWS: Boston College And East Carolina To Meet In Military Bowl
Kayla Keefe, another Bistro 781 manager, says she is excited about outdoor dining returning. “But we want to make sure neighbors are also getting the benefit of it,” said Keefe.