Open Newbury Returns for Fourth Year

For the fourth year in a row, Newbury Street will be pedestrian-only from Arlington Street to Massachusetts Avenue in what has become known as “Open Newbury Street.” From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 14, Aug. 25, and Sept. 15, people can enjoy free roaming of the street to check out the fun activations that Newbury Street businesses have to offer.

Jacob Wessel, Public Realm Director for the City of Boston, told the Sun that a lot of businesses have done the same thing for the past three years that have worked well for them, but there are also several newer businesses that are excited to participate in the event. For example, Serafina, a new restaurant, is excited for the outdoor dining element, and Marine Layer is going to have a T-shirt recycling program where people can learn about recycling clothing. “There are a number of folks trying to demonstrate how their products work,” Wessel said. KitchenWares on Newbury Street will be demonstrating knife sharpening, and clothing stores will demonstrate how their clothing is made, he said.

“We’re just excited to see it work well and continue on,” Wessel said. A change from last year, the pedestrianization of Hereford Street, will continue this year. “People are starting to understand it a bit more as a regular occurrence,” Wessel said of the event— “it pops into their mind and they continue to get excited about it. That’s something we’re really excited to see.”

”Having talked with consumers and other business owners, everyone I’ve talked to agrees that Open Newbury Street makes strolling and shopping a richer experience. With restaurants outside and activities to take part in-it’s a fantastic experience,” Jennifer Hill, owner of Kitchenwares by Blackstones at 215 Newbury Street, said in a press release. “I hope it will continue every year!”

There will also be two new parklets on Newbury St. this year, one out in front of 205-207 Newbury St., and one in front of 125 Newbury St. The parklets were installed in partnership with real estate company Urban Meritage, Wessel said, and he added that there has been “pretty positive reaction” to the parklets so far. He said they hope to possibly add a few more over the next year as well. The parklets are a way to turn the “temporary excitement” of Open Newbury Street into a more permanent change for the neighborhood and city at large, Wessel said.

Wessel said he hopes Open Newbury Street will be a “destination event” for people to go to in Boston this summer, and stressed the three different dates in hopes that there will be one that can work for everyone who would like to attend.

Lastly, “We want to hear feedback from residents and shoppers and business owners about what we can do to continue to make this a success and how we can improve upon it,” he said.

Parking will be restricted on Newbury Street and adjacent streets with enforcement beginning at 5:00 a.m. Signs will also be posted informing drivers of the change, the press release states. 

“I am excited to once again host the Open Newbury Street series, now in its fourth year,” said Mayor Walsh. “This series has become an anticipated summer event and I hope residents and visitors will be able to experience all that Open Newbury Street has to offer. The family event is designed to welcome all, and I look forward to residents and visitors enjoying popular Newbury Street as a pedestrian path.”

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