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Posted on: April 2, 2021

City’s Outdoor Dining & Retail Program Begins

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The City’s outdoor dining and retail program begins April 5 with the closure of several downtown streets. The program allows retailers and restaurants to apply to expand into public spaces, including closed streets, parklets, the public right-of-way, and parks. Similar to the 2020-2021 program, the City’s goal is to help small businesses operate successfully, safely, and in compliance with social distancing guidelines. The program covers the entire city and not just the downtown area. 

Fifty-seven businesses have applied so far to participate in the program. Businesses who wish to apply should visit the City’s Business Licensing page to access the application materials. 

Street Closures As of April 5, 2021
The following streets will be closed to vehicle traffic from April 5, 2021 to November 1, 2021: Wharf, Dana, Milk (between Exchange/Market), and Fore Street (on the southeast side of Boothby Square, between Pearl/Silver). Commercial vehicles may access these streets before 11:00 AM daily to make deliveries. 

Street Closure List

Traffic on Middle Street will be adjusted to one-way only to allow businesses to operate in the public right-of-way, similar to how they did in 2020.

The southeast side of Boothby Square (between Pearl/Silver) is a new addition to this program, and was made in response to requests from local businesses. As this is a street over which the State has authority, its closure was approved by MaineDOT.

Streets temporarily closed to traffic will have one “soft” closure (through which delivery vehicles can travel at designated hours) and one “hard” closure, delineated by large concrete barricades or planters. 

All plans to place furniture or other elements on the street must be reviewed and approved by the Department of Permitting & Inspections. Any structures built must be issued a building permit. For information on what is and is not allowed, interested parties should contact  bl@portlandmaine.gov.

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