Showing posts with label outdoor dining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label outdoor dining. Show all posts

Friday, May 28, 2021

THE BLACK BOX: Food Truck and Live Music Festival - May 29-30

THE BLACK BOX supports the return of live music and enthusiastically welcomes food trucks to Downtown Franklin!

When not attending this special event, please support our local restaurants!

Saturday, May 29th and and Sunday, May 30th from 5-10 PM, General Admission tickets are $20 per day.

Saturday, May 29

  • 5:00 Racky Thomas
  • 6:00 Kaye Kelly
  • 7:00 Ken DoRosario
  • 8:30 Diane Blue

Sunday, May 30

  • 5:00 Britt Connors Duo
  • 6:00 David Thorne Scott
  • 7:00 Honest Mechanik
  • 8:30 The Gravel Project

Food trucks include Caribbean Press, Pangea Cuisines and Larry Joes' New England Fire Pit  

Tickets =


THE BLACK BOX: Food Truck and Live Music Festival - May 29-30
THE BLACK BOX: Food Truck and Live Music Festival - May 29-30

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Extension of Premises: Outdoor Dining on Private Property/Parking Lot - UPDATE


"This guidance is for restaurants who wish to use or currently use private parking lots for outdoor dining to increase business activity and revenues in a safe and responsible way during the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 3 2020, the Town Council authorized the Town Administrator to execute any and all licenses relative to COVID-19 Executive Order No. 35 in regards to opening reactants for outdoor dining.

For any businesses who applied and were approved last year: Your permit remains in effect however you must send the Town Administration Office your updated Certificate of Liability Insurance. Also, if you had tents and wish to use these again you must have those reinspected by the building department. Please contact the Building department at 508-528-4926 with any questions or complete the online building application here:

For any new businesses applying or any changes to existing permit being made: Before the private parking lot is used for the benefit of the restaurant, the owner or his/her/their designee, shall complete the online “Temporary Outdoor Dining License” application via Viewpoint under “Administration”."

Download a copy of the file:

Shared from:

Extension of Premises: Outdoor Dining on Private Property/Parking Lot - UPDATED
Extension of Premises: Outdoor Dining on Private Property/Parking Lot - UPDATE


Friday, September 11, 2020

In the News: ‘Sons’ rise in Franklin; Gov Bakers extends support for restaurants outdoor dining

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:  

"Although he has not served in the military, Alan Earls has felt a strong connection to the armed services since he was a kid.

“When I was a child, my dad, and pretty much every adult male I knew, was a veteran of World War I, II or the Korean War,” said Earls. “Later, of course, many contemporaries went off to Vietnam.”

It was a time when, he said, “military service by males was universal and honored.” And while not everyone directly faced peril, “everyone who served played an important role, for limited benefits and modest thanks.”

As the son of a veteran, Earls felt from an early age the importance of always remembering and honoring people — both men and women — who have served, “or simply been ‘asked’ by their country to serve.” 

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Vittorio Ettore’s restaurant, Bistro 5, was “basically 100% empty” at 7:30 p.m. on a Friday when a city official happened to stop in and suggested Ettore needed a patio.

Ettore was skeptical of the idea at first, he recalled Thursday. His Italian restaurant is at a busy intersection, and with the West Medford commuter rail station nearby, overlooks steady train and bus traffic.

“There’s a lot going on in the streets, but she really got me inspired to actually do a small patio, and I have to say, since we decided that evening, within five days, I was able to do business outside, which is kind of incredible,” Ettore said. “We went from doing roughly about under 30 people per week in June and July, which is pretty crazy, to roughly 30 to 40 people a day, so that has changed our business completely.”

Gov. Charlie Baker, Medford Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn and other officials visited Bistro 5 on Thursday, where Baker announced a doubling of the Shared Streets and Spaces grant program from $5 million to $10 million."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Friday, September 4, 2020

"Fed said that restaurants in Boston are 'faring worse than the rest of the state'.”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin: 

"Al fresco dining has become an important part of the restaurant industry in Massachusetts, having “dramatically increased” when state government prohibited indoor dining to slow the spread of the coronavirus, analysts at the Federal Reserve Bank said.

In its latest Beige Book, which draws information from banking and business contacts, the Fed highlighted that more than one-third of restaurant sales in Massachusetts this summer came from outdoor dining, which it said “is unusual in Massachusetts where fewer than 20% of restaurants had outdoor dining options before the pandemic.”

While restaurants in coastal areas operated at roughly 75% of typical sales on average through the summer months, the Fed said that restaurants in Boston are “faring worse than the rest of the state.”

Restaurants were allowed to resume indoor dining in June, but many eateries have expanded into outdoor spaces in order to serve customers who might not yet be comfortable venturing indoors for a meal during the pandemic."

3 Restaurant is one of several in Franklin offering outdoor dining
3 Restaurant is one of several in Franklin offering outdoor dining

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

McCoy Stadium Welcomes Diners on the Diamond

McCoy Stadium Welcomes Diners on the Diamond

URCC Member Pawtucket Red Sox Adds a New Fan Experience

Everybody talks about pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic. We all have to think about how people are feeling and how we can best serve our customers.

But United Regional Chamber of Commerce (URCC) member Pawtucket Red Sox hasn't just pivoted; they've reinvented; adding an experience that hometown fans will remember forever. The PawSox, celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, had the 2020 season cancelled by the coronavirus in an announcement made by Minor League Baseball on June 30. You'd think the stadium would be empty, but it isn't. So, what are they doing?

Instead of hosting Minor League Baseball games, McCoy Stadium has morphed into Dining on the Diamond, a unique dining experience that the leaders of the organization created. When they heard Rhode Island Governor Raimondo say in late April that outdoor dining would soon return, they asked themselves, "Who has a better outdoor dining venue in Pawtucket than the actual field at McCoy Stadium?" And the idea was born. Of course, the club is complying with Rhode Island guidelines in light of the coronavirus pandemic and asks diners to wear masks (except when dining) and conduct self-screenings when they arrive at the stadium.

"One of my many roles is to ask families as they're exiting how they would rate the experience," says Rick Medeiros, the club's head of Fan Services and a friendly fixture at McCoy Stadium for years. "It's amazing how, on a scale of 1-10, the most frequently stated number is 11. Really. It's been so gratifying for all of us to present an experience that provokes so many stories and elicits so many emotions. As a five-generation Rhode Islander, I think Dining on the Diamond is the best thing, and the most therapeutic thing, we've done in years. It really gets to the heart of the families and fans — of all ages."

Dining on the Diamond started on June 5 and has continued most Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings. During the four weekends in June, the PawSox hosted more than 900 families (which equated to more than 3,000 fans). The phenomenal response inspired more than 25 teams in Minor League Baseball to duplicate the concept. It paused in early July to see if it could co-exist with Boston Red Sox workouts at McCoy, and the big club gave its full support to continue the extraordinary innovation. And now there are more than 3,000 on the waiting list. That's 3,000 reservations; not 3,000 people. The tickets sell out each time in less than two hours, so if you're interested in sharing part of PawSox history, you have to move quickly.

To keep interaction to a minimum, you order your food online when you reserve your table. With ballpark fare and family-friendly pricing, the club added new items to the original menu, including a New England lobster roll, chicken caprese, and Rhode Island steak tips. The rest of the menu includes such specialty items as eggplant parmesan; barbequed beef brisket; pulled pork; and a Grand Slam hot dog smothered in bacon, pulled pork, and macaroni and cheese. More traditional ballpark offerings include Ballpark hot dogs, bigger better burgers, chicken tenders, French fries, and nachos. Vegetarians can enjoy not only the eggplant parmesan (with pasta), but also veggie bites. All dishes can also be prepared gluten free. A full variety of beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits, is available before and during dinner.

They've spread 33 socially distanced tables throughout the McCoy outfield. The number 33 has a real historic significance. It references the number of innings in The Longest Game in the history of professional baseball, played at McCoy in 1981 between the PawSox and the Rochester Red Wings, who were then the Triple-A Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. Future Hall of Famers Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken, Jr. were among those players in the legendary game that started Saturday, April 18; continued until 4:09 a.m. Easter Sunday, April 19; and then concluded on Tuesday, June 23; a three-day game that attracted an international media throng. And this month, the club is accommodating even more families by adding more tables on the beautiful outfield grass.

And don't forget that the PawSox have a new line of COVID-19 inspired merchandise for charity, with t-shirts that read "Wash Your Paws," "Safe at Home," and "Hands…Washing Hands" which, of course, is a reference to Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline.

Members of the Waiting List have the first opportunity to secure the tables, and fans seeking personal service can call the PawSox at (401) 724-7300, daily, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Also, just announced this past Saturday are their Drive Through Giveaways starting on August 12, they'll be giving away bobbleheads and jerseys that they intended to give away at games this season. This Thursday, they'll be giving away a Keith Foulke Bobblehead. For more information and registration, visit their website.

They're really pulling out all stops to keep the PawSox experience alive. Awesome job!

McCoy Stadium Welcomes Diners on the Diamond
McCoy Stadium Welcomes Diners on the Diamond

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

In the News: cocktails to go legislation signed; police chiefs object to police reform drafts in House/Senate

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday afternoon signed a pair of bills that will update the state’s approach to mosquito control and allow restaurants to sell sealed containers of mixed drinks with their takeout and delivery food orders. 
Lawmakers sent Baker those two bills on Thursday, along with a $1 billion supplemental budget that focuses on spending related to the state’s COVID-19 response. That spending bill (H 4808) remains on Baker’s desk, and he has until Sunday to act on it. 
“While many mom and pop establishments have been able to slowly reopen in recent weeks, they still face significant challenges in their efforts to retain employees and pay their bills,” said State Sen. Diana DiZoglio, who filed the legislation. “According to our local, family owned and operated restaurants, these measures could help them generate thousands of dollars a month and would greatly assist them in paying utility bills and rent.” 
The new to-go cocktails law (S 2812) is aimed at helping restaurants generate additional revenue while their operations are restricted amid the COVID-19 crisis. It follows an April law that allowed restaurants to sell beer and wine alongside takeout and delivery, and restaurants will now be able to sell limited quantities of beer, wine and mixed drinks for off-premises consumption through February 2021 or until the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted, whichever comes later."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"For years, Massachusetts police chiefs say, they’ve been ignored by state lawmakers. Now, police say legislators are threatening their safety - and the safety of the public — through proposed police reform measures. 
“Law enforcement in Massachusetts is under attack by a liberal element that wants to bring shame (to police officers) that none of us understand,” said Hampden Police Chief Jeff Farnsworth, president of the Massachusetts Police Chiefs Association, on Tuesday. Massachusetts police have been leading the way in model police standards in the United States for years – but those efforts haven’t been acknowledged by legislators, he said. 
“As leaders, we can stand here today and tell you, the legislation will not make us safer,” Farnsworth said. 
Farnsworth was joined by nearly 100 of the state’s 351 police chiefs Tuesday morning in Framingham to criticize two police reform bills that were recently moved by the Senate and House. The chiefs urged Gov. Charlie Baker and state legislators to work with police on the legislation instead of cutting them out of the conversation."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Talk Franklin: Phase III Reopening, Budget, Virtual Meeting Schedule and Upcoming Events!

FM #311 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 311 in the series.

This session of the radio show shares my "Talk Franklin" conversation with Town Administrator Jamie Hellen and Communications Specialist Anne Marie Tracey. We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

We talk about: Re-opening continues

  • Diligence continues to be required (face coverings, hand washing, etc.)
  • Town staff and operations; DPW projects
  • Election info


  • Town hiring freeze, budget management internally

Virtual meetings

  • School comm 7/14
  • Senior coffee 7/16
  • Town council 7/22

Cultural events

  • THE BLACK BOX concerts parking lot
  • Party for the Pantry – 7/16
  • Don White/Circle of Friends fund raiser for the Pantry – 7/23
  • Concerts on the Common includes a movie night 7/24

The recording runs about 40 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Jamie and Anne Marie.


The COVID-19 case count for Franklin

DPW projects updated on Facebook page

The water rate discussion including why we currently have a ban and usually have ‘water conservation measures’


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!

You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

Talk Franklin: Phase III Reopening, Budget, Virtual Meeting Schedule and Upcoming Events!
Talk Franklin: Phase III Reopening, Budget, Virtual Meeting Schedule and Upcoming Events!

In the News: "the Senate passed a redrafted version of to-go cocktail legislation"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Both branches of the state Legislature have now signed off on allowing Massachusetts restaurants to sell to-go cocktails. 
The Senate on Friday passed a bill that would allow restaurants to sell mixed drinks in sealed containers alongside takeout and delivery food orders, a measure some bar and restaurant owners have been advocating for as a way to attract customers during the COVID-19 crisis that has hurt the restaurant sector. 
Unlike the broader restaurant relief bill the House passed unanimously five weeks ago -- which also included a cap on third-party delivery fees and waived penalties and interest for late meals tax payments -- the Senate’s bill (S 2812) speaks only to the issue of takeout cocktails. 
The two branches would need to agree on an approach before they could send a bill to Baker, who said last month that he supported the House’s restaurant bill. The House was not in session on Friday and meets next on Monday."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

NPR: "Amid Confusion About Reopening, An Expert Explains How To Assess COVID-19 Risk"

Via NPR, we find this article share worthy:
"Across the country, states are loosening the restrictions that had been put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 — with varying results. New cases are decreasing in some states, including New York, Michigan and Colorado, while case numbers and hospitalizations have swelled recently in several states, including Texas, Arizona and Florida.

"Since the very first day of this pandemic, I don't think [we've been] in a more confused position about what's happening," epidemiologist Michael Osterholm says. "We just aren't quite sure what [the coronavirus is] going to do next."

Osterholm is the founder and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. His 2017 book, Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs, was recently republished with a new foreword about COVID-19. Mark Olshaker is the book's co-author.

From the earliest days of the pandemic, the coronavirus has often been treated as a political issue rather than a public health issue — and much has been made of President Trump's refusal to wear a mask in public. But Osterholm says that the risks from COVID-19 supersede partisanship."
Continue reading the article online

This hit the Franklin radar via Twitter:

  A server wears a protective face mask while attending to customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Bethesda, Md., on June 12. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
A server wears a protective face mask while attending to customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Bethesda, Md., on June 12.  Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Friday, June 12, 2020

"Without baseball, PawSox turn McCoy Stadium into a field of eats"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
“Take me out to the ballgame!” ... Well, that won’t be happening for awhile, if at all this summer, but the next best thing might be taking yourself out to the ballpark for some Diamond Dining. The Pawtucket Red Sox are turning McCoy Stadium into a giant outdoor restaurant starting June 5. The team is slated to move to Worcester next year, where it will become the WooSox (groan).

The PawSox season is on hold, like every other sports team in America right now, but with Rhode Island easing its quarantine restrictions, the Red Sox’ triple-A affiliate is offering fans a unique opportunity. All your favorite ballpark foods and beverages are available for curbside pickup with online ordering and for designated weekend nights fans can dine in the stadium on the infield.

The Pawtucket infield will be dotted with 20 tables, seating up to five people each and safely distanced 14 feet apart from each other. A long lineup of ballpark food is available, from the quintessential hot dog, to hamburgers and cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, and veggie tenders for the more health-conscious.
Most of the items are priced in the $5 to $6 range with a few special delicacies like eggplant Parmesan or the BBQ Platter or the bacon-wrapped hot dogs priced at $10.The full menu of McCoy Stadium beverage options is available, from soft drinks to beers, including Wormtown Hoppy IPA, from the future home city of the WooSox. There are even three varieties of wines, available by the bottle for $15."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

To reserve your table at McCoy
"Without baseball, PawSox turn McCoy Stadium into a field of eats"
"Without baseball, PawSox turn McCoy Stadium into a field of eats"

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Franklin to help restaurants with outdoor dining options

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"Several MetroWest communities are trying to help restaurants make up for lost revenue during the coronavirus pandemic by making it easier, and faster, to serve food and drink.

One strategy is to quickly review and approve temporary licenses for outdoor dining. That’s expected to start Monday as part of the state’s second phase of the reopening of the economy. Regulations include having at least 6 feet between tables and a maximum of six people per table.

Framingham started a temporary license approval process for restaurants that want to offer outdoor dining. The Licensing Commission holds a public hearing every Monday to review applications already vetted by internal departments, like police and public health. The commission is expected to make decision within six business days after getting an application.

As of Friday afternoon, Framingham received 13 applications, according to Diane Willoughby, the city’s licensing coordinator."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

While Franklin did not make mention in this article, readers may recall the guidance was shared here on Saturday. They may also recall Town Administrator Jamie Hellen was granted temporary permitting authority by the Town Council on Wednesday to enable a quicker turn around for license applications than the weekly process mentioned for Framingham.

Franklin to help restaurants with outdoor dining options
Franklin to help restaurants with outdoor dining options

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Franklin, MA: Temporary Outdoor Dining Guidance and Application

In anticipation of Governor Baker's announcement to allow outdoor dining in the State, the Town of Franklin has compiled a list of temporary guidance and application process information for our local establishments. 

Please find it here,

We will continue to update the community on reopening procedures and guidelines as information becomes available. You can visit the Reopening Resources portal on our website here

Franklin, MA: Temporary Outdoor Dining Guidance and Application
Franklin, MA: Temporary Outdoor Dining Guidance and Application