Back Bay’s First Parklet Will Debut at Third Year of Open Newbury Street

Shoppers and diners will be soon able to enjoy three more car-free Sundays on Newbury Street. On July 8, August 12, and September 9, Newbury Street will be closed to vehicles from Arlington Street to Massachusetts Avenue for the third year of Open Newbury Street.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on those three dates, pedestrians will be able to take part in special events put on by businesses on the street, and even dine in the middle of the road.

“Over the past two years, we’ve had overwhelming success in creating a pedestrian-friendly experience for Newbury Street visitors and businesses and I am excited that we’ll be continuing this series again this summer,” Mayor Walsh said in a statement published by the mayor’s office. “From being able to shop for products both in the store and out, to enjoying lunch next to a street performer, we are happy that residents and visitors will get to experience this opportunity, and are grateful to the business owners and residents who have worked with us to expand this next edition of the Open Newbury Street series.”

The purpose of Open Newbury Street is to reimagine public space by trying new things and evaluating how the space can be better used, said Jacob Wessel, director of City Hall to Go.

He said it’s up to each individual business to try out new things, and several businesses along Newbury Street will have activities for pedestrians to participate in. Wessel said that The North Face is partnering with the non-profit organization The Trust for Public Land to create a pop-up park in the street. There will be planters and grass, which Wessel said will add more greenery to the street.

He also said that Winston Flowers will have an area where people can create flower-boxes of herbs and take it home with them. He said he was worried that Trident Booksellers and Cafe would be unable to participate because they have been temporarily closed due to a fire in February. However, they will be having a pop-up bookstore on the street with booksellers available to talk about their favorite books.

There will also be some musicians and small musical groups at various sites along the street, and many restaurants will have outdoor dining so people can enjoy brunch or lunch directly on the street.

If you need to work off brunch, there will be a few exercise classes out on the street, and Athleta will be holding a HIIT dance class.

Starting at 8 a.m. on July 8, parking will be restricted for the event. The city is encouraging people to use public transportation, as well as biking and walking to get to the area.

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