By Tiffany Chan

WALTHAM (CBS) – The wind was howling, toppling over traffic barriers and planters along Moody Street in Waltham Friday evening.

“At this point, we’re leaving them down. We’ll just pick them up tomorrow,” said Kayla Keefe, manager at Bistro 781.

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They’re one of several restaurants expanding outdoor dining onto Moody Street on Saturday. Crews had to brace the strong gusts through the evening.

“We had to keep catching our fences and stuff, but it’s actually a good exercise as well to see if our build can withstand the inclement weather that comes our way,” said MOLTI on Moody’s Alex Hage.

The program’s return Saturday means 25 additional tables for the folks at MOLTI on Moody.

“That’s our lifeline, quite honestly. It’s been a tough winter for all of us,” said Hage.

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To help restaurants recover from both the pandemic and slow winter season, the city brought back the popular program and made a portion of Moody Street pedestrian-only.

“At the end of the day, Moody Street is known for its restaurants and shopping,” said Keefe. “It brings so many more people to the area.”

Restaurant employees and patrons agree – the added foot traffic has bolstered business.

“The weather was beautiful, except for the wind, but for the most part, I love seeing Moody Street active,” said Bistro 781 patron, Chris Silverstre.

Restaurants are the straw that stirs the drink of the Moody Street economy and with brighter, calmer days ahead.

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“People can’t wait to sit outside,” said Keefe. “We’re really looking forward to it.”

Tiffany Chan