Outdoor Customer Areas

2020-2021 Winter Outdoor Dining Pilot Program 

(Page last updated: 1pm on December 15, 2020)

To accommodate businesses interested in continuing outdoor dining service through the winter months, the Town is launching a Winter Outdoor Dining Pilot Program, which features enhanced safety requirements for outdoor seating located in public parking spaces. This pilot program will expire on March 31, 2021. Guidelines for the Spring 2021 Outdoor Dining Program will be announced later this winter.

 Restaurants that have secured outdoor dining approval through the Town’s Extended Outdoor Dining Temporary Licensing Program (see section below), which was announced in October 2020, are eligible to participate in this Winter Outdoor Dining Pilot Program. Contact the Licensing Clerk, Tiffany Souza, tsouza@brooklinema.gov, with any questions about your eligibility or to apply for the required temporary license.

 Please review the 2020-2021 Winter Outdoor Dining Pilot Program Guidelines.

 2020-2021 Winter Outdoor Dining Pilot Program Overview:

  • Restaurants with outdoor dining located on the public sidewalk may continue to provide outdoor seating with the stipulation that all outdoor dining furniture and materials must be temporarily removed from the sidewalk and other parts of the public way in the event of inclement weather. Restaurants should review the Town’s Snow Removal By-LawWinter Guide for Brookline Property Owners, Businesses, and Residents, as well as the Adequate Maintenance of the Public Way and ADA Accessibility requirements outlined in the 2020-2021 Winter Outdoor Dining Pilot Program Guidelines.
  • Restaurants with outdoor dining located in public parking spaces may continue outdoor dining provided that those outdoor dining areas are secured by concrete jersey barriers. Restaurants must move their outdoor dining set-ups in 2 feet towards the curb (as measured from the inside edge of the white parking space markings) to accommodate the installation of concrete jersey barriers. The jersey barriers may not protrude into the travel lane. End cap barriers will be placed in adjacent parking spaces and reduce parking both in front of and behind the outdoor seating areas. The Town is not responsible for any damage caused to or by outdoor seating areas in the public way.
    • At no cost to businesses, the Town will provide temporary use, as well as the installation and removal, of concrete jersey barriers. Contact Todd Kirrane, Transportation Administrator, tkirrane@brooklinema.gov, to request review of your location and installation of concrete jersey barriers, which are required for participation in the Winter Outdoor Dining Pilot Program. 
    • Restaurant owners must ensure that all outdoor seating areas remain accessible to the public in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. This may be accomplished with temporary ramps, access at ground level at the rear of the outdoor seating area, or with an elevated platform.
    • The concrete jersey barriers are the property of the Town of Brookline and may not be altered without the written consent of the Town. Requests for any type of alteration should be submitted to Todd Kirrane, Transportation Administrator, tkirrane@brooklinema.gov
  • Restaurants with outdoor dining located on private property may continue to provide outdoor dining service in accordance with the requirements outlined in the 2020-2021 Winter Outdoor Dining Pilot Program Guidelines.
  • Only restaurants that have secured approval for outdoor seating through the Town’s Extended Outdoor Dining Temporary Licensing Program, which was launched in October 2020, are eligible to participate in this pilot program. 
  • All restaurants continuing outdoor seating through the winter need to provide a Statement of Intent, an updated certificate of liability insurance, as well as certificate of liquor liability insurance, and written approval from abutting businesses or property owners. Please see the Pilot Program Requirements for additional details.
  • Restaurants that have secured Fire Department approval for temporary use of propane patio heaters through the Liquid Propane Outdoor Heating Pilot Program may continue to use patio heaters in outdoor dining areas for the duration of this pilot program.
  • Restaurants must be aware that tents, canopies, and umbrellas do not have designated snow loads and should not be used if there is snow accumulation. Prior to use, all tents, canopies, and umbrellas should be cleared of accumulated snow. Tents, canopies, and umbrellas are also not intended for use in high wind events and should not be in use and in the public way during such events.

Extension of Brookline's Temporary Outdoor Seating Program

(Implemented in October 2020)

On June 11, 2020, the Brookline Select Board adopted a temporary outdoor seating program and streamlined approval process for Brookline restaurants through Governor Baker's COVID-19 Order No. 35. This temporary program allowed Brookline restaurants that did not previously have approved outdoor seating, or restaurants interested in expanding their existing outdoor seating, to extend their licensed premises into adjacent sidewalk or parking areas, through an expedited approval process managed by Town staff with no public hearing, abutter notification, or application fee requirements. 

On October 6, 2020, through Governor Baker's COVID-19 Order No. 50, the Select Board approved the extension of that temporary outdoor seating program, which was originally set to expire on November 1, 2020, to December 7, 2020. All Brookline restaurants (i.e. restaurants will permanent and temporary approved outdoor seating) interested in extending their outdoor seating to December 7, 2020, must review and submit the following materials:

Documents for Review:

Documents for Submission:



Application materials can be emailed directly to the Town's Licensing Clerk Tiffany Souza at tsouza@brooklinema.gov.

The October 6th presentation to the Select Board regarding extending outdoor seating is available for review from 2:15:00-2:43:00. The October 6th slide deck presentation is available for review here.

If you would like assistance in drawing a sketch of your proposed outdoor seating; we are doing that for free - email Kara Brewton in Economic Development at kbrewton@brooklinema.gov

If you have other creative ideas such as using a portion of a travel lane or closing down a street - let us know those too by emailing Todd Kirrane at tkirrane@brooklinema.gov

Outdoor Seating Materials Available for Loan to Restaurants

Through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program, the Town of Brookline has obtained outdoor seating materials, which are available for loan to local restaurants. Please submit your outdoor seating material requests through this form, and a staff member will contact you regarding next steps.

Outdoor Seating Materials Currently Available for Loan:

  • V-Series 2 Pro 10 ft. x 10 ft. White Canopy Kit [10 available]
  • 10 ft. x 10 ft. Commercial Grade Sidewalls [10 available]
  • Non-Skid Aluminum Solid Curb Ramp ADA Ramp (36"x36") [10 available]
  • COMING SOON: Cafe Tables 
  • COMING SOON: Cafe Chairs

Restaurants that borrow outdoor seating materials from the Town will be required to submit an agreement form.

Contact Meredith L. Mooney, Economic Development Planner, with any questions: mmooney@brooklinema.gov