Outside Dining

To the Editor,

            Well, it is good to know that the citizens of Mattapoisett no longer must drive over the canal bridges to enjoy a taste of Cape Cod’s tacky ambiance. The owners of Mattapoisett’s historic landmark restaurant and inn, with the approval of a majority of our Select Board, are enjoying another summer of rent-free use of public property, colorful décor included. 

            During the height of the pandemic allowing outside dining on the sidewalk and street for free was commendable. Not so much anymore. The business in question occupies a significantly larger space than that of the smaller ice cream business on the wharf, which according to Town Administrator Mike Lorenco pays a fee for use of their public space. In addition, free parking is available on the public wharf where citizens must pay for the privilege by buying a parking tag. 

            To enhance the experience of their patrons while they enjoy our beautiful harbor view, the proprietors have kindly provided bright yellow steel cage lobster pots adorned with Styrofoam buoys, three plants and dirty orange traffic cones. The giant granite boulders, apparently recommended by our police department instead of last year’s jersey barriers, serve as safety shields from errant autos whose drivers are no doubt distracted while staring at this circus of street side decor. Shall I mention the vandalism perpetrated by the painting of dayglow green markings on the historical, over one hundred-year-old curbs. I am not alone in wondering what’s next, cotton candy, saltwater taffy, a tiki bar? 

            Though our Governor has extended outdoor dining privileges until the spring of 2023, there is no reason why the Select Board cannot urge or indeed require the proprietors to recognize the character of the historic neighborhood. Indeed, at a recent Select Board meeting, one member suggested…before the arrival of lobster pots…the addition of flowers. I doubt the expectation was for lobster traps and orange traffic cones. A firm “suggestion” on the Board’s part to provide more appropriate décor and to remove forthwith the green paint from the curbs that are intended to be saved and reused when the street is repaved in the future is in order. 

            Not long ago, many car bumpers hereabouts were adorned with a sticker declaring, “Mattapoisett is Special.” Let’s try to keep it that way. Shall we?

Richard Morgado, Mattapoisett

The views expressed in the “Letters to the Editor” column are not necessarily those of The Wanderer, its staff or advertisers. The Wanderer will gladly accept any and all correspondence relating to timely and pertinent issues in the great Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester area, provided they include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. We cannot publish anonymous, unsigned or unconfirmed submissions. The Wanderer reserves the right to edit, condense and otherwise alter submissions for purposes of clarity and/or spacing considerations. The Wanderer may choose to not run letters that thank businesses, and The Wanderer has the right to edit letters to omit business names. The Wanderer also reserves the right to deny publication of any submitted correspondence.

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