BOSTON (WHDH) - Restaurant owners in Boston’s North End held a protest Wednesday as the option of on-street outdoor dining returned for restaurants elsewhere in the city. 

Some restaurants in other neighborhoods are allowed to set up outdoor dining areas on city streets after completing an application. But the option is off the table in the North End thanks to a city policy first implemented last year. 

City officials have cited the North End’s high density of restaurants, narrow streets and foot traffic as some of several reasons for the restrictions. 

Restaurant owners have pushed back, suing the city and gathering in-person on several occasions since the policy took effect. 

“A city and mayor that prides itself on working continuously to serve every neighborhood and building community still will not work together with us,” said Bill Galatis, a co-owner of Tresca Restaurant on Wednesday. “This lack of consideration borders on wilful ignorance.”

Outdoor dining soared in popularity in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced changes after she took office and announced further restrictions in 2023, permitting some sidewalk patios in the North End but banning on-street restaurant areas.

On-street dining remained an option in other neighborhoods.

On its website, the city said it “intends to continue those policies in the North End and may craft additional neighborhood-specific guidelines as the program advances” in 2024.

Wednesday’s restaurant owner protest kicked off at the intersection of Hanover and Cross streets at 3 p.m.

“For outdoor dining reservations in the North End call City Hall at 311,” read one sign held by several people in attendance.

The 2024 on-street outdoor dining season began in Boston on Wednesday. The season will continue until Oct. 31.

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