BOSTON (CBS) – The only thing tougher than parking in Boston’s North End was finding a table for dinner. The warm stretch of weather has people flocking to the neighborhood to enjoy a slice of the spring weather.
“When you look at the reservations, people just want to be outside, outdoors,” said Nino Trotta, owner of Forcella. “And we’re ready for them.”READ MORE: 'Pure Empathy': Three Women Find Comfort In New Friendship After Losing Fathers To COVID
The warmer it got, the longer the wait times became for dinner along Hanover Street.
“We heard the food is amazing so we’re just going to wait it out,” Jimmy Lambert told WBZ-TV as he waited for a table outside.
The burst of foot traffic and appetite for outdoor dining come as a relief for restaurant owners like Trotta.
After coming out of hibernation during the winter, Trotta said outdoor dining makes up most of his business at Forcella.
“It’s gigantic right now. It’s vital. If I had to put a number on it – 75%,” he said.
The city of Waltham paved the way for outdoor street dining, but is one of the last to reopen Moody Street to patrons. That will come May 1.READ MORE: Massachusetts Reports 359 New COVID Cases, 6 Additional Deaths
“It’s a t-shirt kind of day. It’s gorgeous out and people want to sit outside,” said Jeff Abellard, owner of Bistro 781. “So yeah, today would be a day we would have outdoor seating, people would enjoy it, it would’ve been bustling.”
Even though more people are getting vaccinated by the day, the demand for outdoor seating only gets higher.
“The amount of customers I’ve talked to who aren’t ready to eat indoors yet. There are people who are high-risk who can’t eat indoors, so we need this,” said Abellard.
Others simply want to enjoy the open air – especially after being indoors for most of 2020.
“Outside would probably be preferred,” said patron Jim Lambert. “The temperature more than anything else.”
Finally, a sense of normalcy for both restaurant owners and diners.
“It’s kind of relieving,” said Lambert. “It’s nice to be out and about.”MORE NEWS: Child Tax Credit: When Will Parents Get Their First Monthly Check?
There is a strong 11 p.m. curfew for outdoor dining in Boston. The program will stretch through December 1, weather permitting.