Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

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July 18, 2013

Taste grows for al fresco dining

(Continued)

When all three restaurants on the Elm Square and Post Office Avenue corner are up and running outdoors, they will eventually combine for a total of 99 seats.

“You’ll have this great atmosphere with a European style, where you can walk and enjoy the beautiful weather,” Berdahn said.

The expansion of outdoor dining doesn’t come without some regulations. Restaurants are required to take measures so their outdoor tables are either monitored by staff or entirely closed off from public access.

Brasserie’s solution involved creating a private entrance into the outdoor dining area from inside the restaurant. The outdoor patio is also surrounded by metal gates and benches designed to match the appearance of downtown Andover, according to Morello.

“We wanted to make sure we had a very great place that was functional, beautiful and safe,” he said. “Being on town property, there’s a responsibility to that. We want to make sure that no one ever doubts their decision that they made by allowing us to do this.”

Diners looking to enjoy a meal under the stars can expect some competition for the available seats.

Jared Hossman, managing partner of Bertucci’s on Main Street, which has been operating five outdoor tables with up to 25 seats on its private property for years, said the spots fill up fast.

“Last year, it was unbelievable. When the weather cooperates, it’s a big driving force for us,” Hossman said.

The same is true at Palmer’s on Elm Street, which has been offering outdoor seating on its private deck as well.

Last Friday night, a group of customers giving Brasserie 28’s patio a try were enthusiastic about the latest player in the al fresco market.

Nine employees from Black Diamond Networks downtown gathered after work around three tables to enjoy some food and wine.

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