By Tiffany Chan

WALTHAM (CBS) – It was a welcome day for many restaurants in Waltham on Saturday as traffic barriers went up along Moody Street to resume outdoor dining.

Restaurants on Moody Street that have struggled through the coronavirus pandemic now have a chance to serve more customers and make more money.

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Colorful chairs and cherry blossoms replaced parking spots as restaurants expanded dining onto the street. For Tempo Restaurant, that means 10 additional tables.

Erin Barnacle, owner of Tempo Restaurant on Moody Street, believes the program is a game-changer and has encouraged more people to dine out again.

“This means we stay alive. We’re keeping our doors open,” said Barnacle. “We finally get a chance to start to head back to normal.”

With more people getting vaccinated, including restaurant workers, it is giving many patrons the confidence and appetite to venture outside.

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“We need this desperately. I think people need community. They definitely need flowers, art and good food,” said Hafsa Lewis of Hafsa and Co. “So this is a combination of all of that.”

Bistro 781 owner Jeff Abellard says expanding outdoor dining isn’t only bolstering business. It’s giving those at high-risk or cautious of COVID the chance to enjoy themselves again.

“People are still afraid of the virus. The virus is still present. I mean, you listen to the news, you read the paper, it’s still here. So people are, even when they’re vaccinated,” said Abellard.

And it’s way for restaurants to recoup after a slow winter season.

“It’s hope. We have hope. We can make up some up for the losses, some of the lost time we had, some of the lost months we’ve had. And our employees get to make more money,” said Abellard.

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Outdoor dining along Moody Street will stretch through Halloween, weather permitting.

Tiffany Chan