Cambridge Committed to Maintaining Outdoor Dining in Public Areas throughout 2021

In September 2020, the City of Cambridge announced it would be extending outdoor dining in the City until 60 days after the end of the Commonwealth’s declared state of emergency.

The City met with the business and restaurant communities to plan for what a four-season outdoor dining experience would look like, including planning for winter weather operations and creating opportunities to make the dining experience as safe, comfortable, and enjoyable as possible through things like the City’s Patio Heater Reimbursement Program.

While we cannot predict when the state of emergency will be declared over by the Governor, the City of Cambridge will work with affected businesses to find a way to support and assist them in identifying mechanisms to legally maintain their outdoor area and keep it operational through the end of the calendar year.

The following are some important information and reminders for restaurants related to Outdoor Dining Areas in Cambridge:

  • If you were approved for a Temporary Extension of the Licensed Premises to an Outdoor Area Due to COVID-19 (“Temporary Premises Extension”) and provided proof of right to occupy the space after 11/1/2020, your permit expiration was amended and you remain permitted to use the temporary outdoor area up to 60 days after the Governor ends the state of emergency due to COVID-19.
    • You do not need to reapply to use the same area. You can confirm whether your permit is up-to-date by looking at the expiration date on it (should say: “Expires 60 days after the end of the state of emergency as declared by the Governor of Massachusetts”).
    • If you have an up-to-date permit, you can use your outdoor area.
  • If you have a Temporary Premises Extension but the expiration date says 11/1/2020, upload the document(s) necessary for the extension as detailed on the attached to your record or by emailing them to license@cambridgema.gov to obtain approval for the expiration update.
  • If you did not get a Temporary Premises Extension, you can apply for one at: https://cambridgema.viewpointcloud.com/categories/1096/record-types/6771.
  • If you obtained a permit from the Fire Department to have propane heaters on the outdoor area, that permit has also been automatically extended through 60 days after the state of emergency ends (even though the expiration date on your permit does not reflect it).
    • If you did not get a permit to have propane heat on an outdoor area or have any questions regarding your permit, please contact the Fire Department by emailing ctowski@cambridgefire.org.
      • Restaurants have the ability to be reimbursed up to $250.00 per portable patio heater for up to a maximum of five (5) patio heaters per business. This reimbursement is subject to compliance with regulations and requirements of the Cambridge Fire Department.
      • For questions on heater reimbursement, contact Matt Nelson, Assistant to the City Manager, by email at mnelson@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4266.
    • To set up an alternate heat source in the outdoor area, please contact Inspectional Services Department by emailing ranjits@cambridgema.gov.
Page was posted on 3/3/2021 10:33 AM
Page was last modified on 3/3/2021 10:34 AM
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