As announced on Monday by Governor Baker, all COVID-19-era business restrictions will end on May 29. This timetable matches up well with Great Barrington's outdoor expanded offerings which is set to kickoff on Memorial Day weekend.

Outdoor dining in Great Barrington was a big hit in 2020

The idea of outdoor dining in Great Barrington originated last year when we were in the heart of the pandemic and it became such a success with locals and tourists alike, that the town decided not only to bring the attraction back this year but to expand the dining experience, making it bigger and better. New this year, the town will install grant-funded planters, new signage, and festive lighting to further improve the look and feel of the downtown dining area.

What will this look like in terms of parking and logistics? 

The town will narrow Railroad Street every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening on holiday weekends, and on Fridays and Saturdays on non-holiday weekends to create an outdoor café experience for residents and visitors. The plan is subject to weather.

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The town's outdoor dining setup will remain in place on weekends through the summer, with an expanded live entertainment program beginning in July. The Taconic/Triplex parking lot will have designated outdoor seating in its parking area as well. Main Street eateries will continue to have outdoor sidewalk seating as they have during the past year.

A statement from Great Barrington's Town Manager

Great Barrington Town Manager Mark Pruhenski shared some information and his outlook regarding this year's outdoor dining offerings.

Expanded outdoor dining in 2020 went a long way to helping our local eateries survive the pandemic.  We hope to keep this going this summer and beyond, since it brings such a lively and relaxed atmosphere to downtown. As the risk of Covid declines with vaccination, we look forward to a successful and enjoyable summer season for residents, businesses and visitors.

Is there anything else I should know?

Just get out there and enjoy it. Restrictions are loosening up, cases are coming down, people are getting vaccinated and life is starting to point in a normal direction. While you don't want to completely throw caution to the wind, we don't have to be living in the same type of stress we did last year. Who needs that? It's time to start living again.

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