North End restaurant owners search for way to keep outdoor diners warm as temps fall

BOSTON (WHDH) - The falling temperatures are a concern for many restaurant owners who rely on outdoor dining space to stay afloat during the pandemic.

To try and keep “Old Man Winter” at bay for a little longer, city officials extended outdoor dining until Dec. 1 and gave owners the green light to purchase outdoor heaters.

Under their plan, restaurant owners could obtain approval from the fire department to place propane heaters could around tables. However, on a Zoom call with city officials, Damian DiPaola the owner of North End restaurant Carmelina’s, argued heaters would do no good without a way to retain the heat.

“We can get propane heaters, put them outside but the only thing that is going to be heating is the sky, they are going to purely be aesthetic,” he said.

As a potential solution, the owner of Aria on Hanover Street proposed installing plexiglass along the street and two sides to block the wind.

“Kinda make that look like a hockey rink with the plexiglass boards,” he explained. “Keep the wind out.”

The city does not allow tents because they say it blocks the view of firefighters.

DiPola said be believes it will bee plexiglass and heaters that keep these businesses afloat this fall.

“There has to be a compromise, between us the city, where we can somehow we can keep the heat enclosed in the patios safely,” he said.

The city said they are considering that proposal.

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