ASHLAND – The Town of Ashland’s Community Development team worked expeditiously to formulate a plan to help local restaurateurs open for seating during the second phase of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Re-opening Massachusetts plan.
With each phase of the state’s plan, the Ashland team has been staying one step ahead in anticipation of what is next. Focused on the state’s mandatory workplace standards, town departments including building, economic development, police, fire, health and planning developed an application for outdoor dining that would be available when the Governor made the announcement that restaurants could open for outdoor seating.
Town administrators encouraged restaurant owners to be creative and look for solutions to resume dining operations by converting a parking lot into a “streetery,” utilizing sidewalk space for tables, and expanding preexisting patio spaces’ seating arrangements.
“Planning ahead in anticipation of the potential reopening was a key component in our ability to offer a quick turnaround for applications,” said Beth Reynolds, Economic Development Director.
The created plan contained a 3-step process: local restaurant owners applied for outdoor seating with a predetermined plan, which then the community development team and other departments reviewed, concluding with the Select Board reviewing the extension of the establishment’s liquor license.
The Ashland Select Board was critical in the push to allow Ashland restaurants to open by calling a special meeting to review the applications that asked for liquor licenses be extended for outdoor dining.
The Select Board was able to extend licenses within 72 hours following Governor Baker’s announcement on May 29, permitting restaurants to re-open.
Select Board Chair Steve Mitchell, said, “On behalf of the Ashland Select Board, we are pleased to act on the Governor’s phased reopening of outdoor dining and support our local restaurants during these challenging times.”
As the State enters the next step in the second phase of reopening Massachusetts, the Town of Ashland staff continues working alongside these restaurant owners for indoor seating preparations as well.
Many local restaurants will continue outdoor seating options as well as indoor seating options, accommodating patron’s safety and security.
Restaurants 2Mauro’s Café, Ashland Ale House, Doragon Ramen, Los Cabos, Erica’s Ristorante, Mexico City Taqueria, Oregon Club, and Stone’s Public House, Sunnyside Café, TJ’s Food and Spirits, 33 All American Diner, Cherry Blossom, and Krua Khun Yah, Murphy’s Eats, and Treats all offer outdoor seating options.
A newly constructed restaurant, Mazi, also will open for the first time, with both indoor-outdoor seating, on July 1.