WALTHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - After many restaurants have expanded operations into the street to maintain distancing during the pandemic, lawmakers are considering allowing more al fresco dining.

Several North End restaurants now have outdoor seating and part of Moody Street in Waltham is closed to allow outdoor dining. Customers say they enjoy the atmosphere and restaurant owners said the new tables have kept their businesses afloat.

“We wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for outdoor dining,” said Jim Quelle, co-owner of the Sons of Boston restaurant.

State Sen. Nick Collins is pushing legislation that would extend the statewide emergency order allowing outdoor dining for another year, saying it will help keep diners safe and keep restaurants in business.

“It’s important to do right now because we’re heading into summertime,” Collins said. “We know that we’re going to have people interested in being outdoors, it’s a safer way to convene and our restaurants need the help.”

But Le Huynh, owner of Le’s Nail & Waxing on Moody Street, said outdoor dining has hurt her business.

“[Customers] come in, they say, Le…  I cannot get to you because the street closed. I don’t know where to go. Bye. Sorry. Cancel my appointment. That’s how I lose the business,” Huynh said.

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