Police cited four restaurants for opening their patios during the Patriots parade
Four restaurants were cited by Boston police for opening up their patios during unseasonably warm weather Tuesday, clearing patrons from their tables during a parade celebrating the Patriots’ latest championship.
Among those restaurants was Orá Trattorizza, where managing partner Jo Oliviero-Megwa said three Boston police officers ordered Orá’s patio on Boylston Street cleared during the parade.
The timing couldn’t have been worse, she said.
“They showed up at 11:20 a.m., and it was just as the Lombardi Trophy passed by my doorstep,” Oliviero-Megwa said.
Boston police Sergeant John Boyle said officers conducting an inspection during the parade found four restaurants that violated permits that limit when patios can be used during the year. A fifth restaurant was cited for overcrowding, he said.
Operators of all five restaurants will have to appear in hearings before the Boston Licensing Board, he said.
Boyle would not release the names of the restaurants. He said the restaurants with issues using their patios were located at 867 Boylston St., 729 Boylston St., 154 Berkeley St., and 651 Boylston St., Boyle said. Orá Trattorizza is located at 651 Boylston St.
The restaurant with the overcrowding issue was located at 14 Bromfield St., he said.
As duck boats carried Patriots players on their victory tour following the Super Bowl, about 18 Orá customers who were on the patio had to leave their seats, while staff took away their tables and chairs.
“Everybody was there to see the Patriots and have a slice of pizza,” Oliviero-Megwa said. “It just put a damper on the day for a lot of people. . . . I know we all have to abide by the rules, but yesterday was about family fun.”
When the officers arrived, about 10 people at the restaurant’s bar had moved to the patio to get a better look at the parade, she said.
There was extra staff working Tuesday, and the patio customers were mainly families with children, and there was one woman who used a cane to get around, she said.
“It was [a] very civil, very controlled group of people,” Oliviero-Megwa said.
She described the police officers as polite and said they were only doing their jobs.
But some of her customers were angry that the city would issue a citation against a restaurant during the Patriots’ Super Bowl parade, she said.
Among them was Christine O’Connor, 51, of Needham who was seated at the patio to watch the parade with a group of family members and friends when the officers ordered the tables cleared away.
O’Connor had never attended a championship parade in Boston before, and she said she was furious that she and her fellow customers were forced to give up their seats.
“I’m appalled by the actions taken by the city. The restaurants were simply trying to accommodate the crowds,” O’Connor said. “You think they would be thanking [the restaurants] instead of ticketing them.”
Nicole Maffeo Russo, who is a publicist for Orá Trattorizza, was at the restaurant when police issued the citation Tuesday.
“It’s the dead of winter. We don’t have many great days for restaurants,” Maffeo Russo said. “It’s really disappointing that the city didn’t give the businesses a pass for days like this.”