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Tavern on the Square Looking to Make Pandemic-Fueled Outdoor Seating Permanent

The allowance of expanded outdoor seating for restaurants during the pandemic has been successful and at least one Burlington establishment is looking to make the situation permanent.

Tavern on the Square in The District will be before the Planning Board on August 19 to petition to cement the outdoor seating allowances made during the pandemic last long term.

“In 2011 the Planning Board issued a Special Permit decision to the Applicant which authorized the operation of a 374 seat, full-service restaurant at the Premises with 60 of the allotted seats designated for outdoor seasonal dining,” the cover letter of the application states. “This outdoor dining area was subsequently partially enclosed. Following several years of continuous operation, the restaurant experienced significant impacts resulting from the pandemic which wreaked havoc across all aspects of the restaurant industry. As you know, the Town of Burlington recognized this economic hardship and structured a permitting platform which facilitated the creation of temporary outdoor dining areas subject to an internal departmental review process. The Applicant availed itself of this opportunity and invested in an outdoor deck to facilitate a safe environment in support of its clientele. Patron interest in this option was and continues to be positive and highlighted the importance of evolving the restaurant in order to strive towards the return of economic vitality.”

Since the move to allow more outdoor was such a success they are looking to make the situation permanent.

“In light of these factors, the Applicant is seeking Planning Board approval of an amendment to the record Special Permit and associated site plan to allow this condition to become permanent,” they wrote. While this request technically represents an increase in overall seating, the Applicant’s feels that the Premises and adjacent parcels within The District have sufficient parking to accommodate this seasonal seating, as it is intended to provide patrons with the option to dine outside if they choose.”