Marathon Customers Give Restaurants a Boost

(Photo: Google Earth)
Written by BU News Service

By Brooke Jackson-Glidden and Sarah Kirkpatrick
BU News Service 

For fans watching the Boston Marathon, the hunt is on each year for ideal marathon-observing territory. Of the entire 26.2-mile course, though, observers flock to the final straightaway for the ending along Boylston Street, in hopes of catching a glimpse of some of the world’s best runners.

For restaurants in that path along Boylston Street — and around the rest of Boston — the increase in spectators and marathon participants from around the world provides a prime opportunity to fill seats on Monday. Between special deals for meals and upping the cost for reserved seating along the final mile of the race, restaurants gear up in advance for the opportunity for increased business on one of Boston’s biggest days.

Max Brenner offers outdoor seating less than a block from the finish line but at a hefty price. For parties of two, tables are available on the patio as long as patrons spend at least $250 during the day, according to Shayla Murray, the lead host of the chocolate-themed restaurant’s lead host. For parties of four, the price increases: Tables must spend at least $500 to hold the space.

Instead of individual tables being reserved, though, some locations are entirely reserved by companies and prominent Boston figures. Solas, an Irish pub inside the Lenox Hotel, located within a block of the finish line, has been bought out by New Balance for the past nine years. Following the conclusion of the race, the bar will open to the public at 5 p.m.

For several restaurants along located Boylston Street, though, seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. At Dillon’s, next to the Boston Fire Department station on Boylston between Massachusetts Avenue and Hereford Street, there will no reservations or buyouts offered to patrons. Instead, the doors will open early at the bar.

“The restaurant opens at 8 a.m., and we will start seeing business then,” manager Sid Datta said.

The staff at Dillon’s opens the windows so people seated inside can cheer on the runners, and patio seating is also available for patrons. Multiple staff members at Dillon’s plan to run in the marathon. The restaurant also hosted a fundraiser and raised $8,200 for the team of workers, as a part of a team with the firehouse next door.

Sweetgreen, situated adjacent to the finish line, will also not take reservations. The fast-casual salad joint will open at 10:30 a.m., with outside seating available to those who show up first, but no one will be allowed to camp out in the outdoor seats.

“It’s just a regular day,” Marilyn Moralez, manager, said.

Some restaurants also take the opportunity to provide special offers for participants of the marathon. Serafina Boston, located in the downtown area, will offer unlimited pasta to any participant who shows their medal for $26.20, emblematic of the distance of the race, according to a press release. Strega, with locations on the Waterfront and in the North End, also noted in a press release that it will offer one of its staple dishes, Fettuccine Strega, for $15 on Monday following the race.

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