Local News

North End outdoor dining — with its new fees — is nearing its end. Where did the money go?

“There’s two things: You sold your soul to the devil, and you made a little extra money. But it was a lot of work and fighting and fees for what was, in my opinion, a slow summer.”

People dine at Bencotto in the North End. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The beginning of outdoor dining this year in North End was marked by a flurry of controversy over a $7,500 fee for restaurants opening outdoor patios. Now, with al fresco season winding down, some are wondering where that money went.

The answer? Cleaning the streets and sidewalks, mostly. A nine-person committee of North End residents and restaurateurs — chosen by Mayor Michelle Wu and North End elected officials — has doled out $714,300 for cleaning services and traffic accommodations, according to an online tracker. That includes over $300,000 collected from 62 eateries that opened patio seating. The rest of the money, a spokesperson said, came from the city budget.


“The city has invested more funds into the neighborhood to mitigate the impacts of outdoor dining than has been collected from local businesses,” an e-mail to the Globe read. Most of it, $623,770, went toward daily sweeping from “hokeys” and weekly powerwashing. The remainder funneledto the transportation department for signs and staffing along Hanover Street — part of which was closed to two-way traffic for the summer — and traffic enforcement.

Finish the story at BostonGlobe.com.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com