Southborough Restaurants: Indoor Dining, an update on Outdoor & takeout service, and Town approval process (Updated)

Above: An update on the indoor and outdoor dining situation in town. (images cropped from Facebook posts by Tomasso’s and Red Barn Coffee)

It’s already time for another update on what restaurants in town are doing. 

Last night, selectmen discussed applications and the approval process for temporary outdoor dining. (Scroll down for a recap of that discussion.) Meanwhile, under the state’s reopening plan, some restaurants already resmed indoor dining. (This afternoon’s earlier downpour highlights why that’s more desirable for some businesses.)

Here is the updated status of Southborough restaurants as of today. The good news is that only two eateries in Southborough are closed at this time, and each of those has a nearby location that is open.

(Since some of you may only be interested in one of the categories below, I’m listing restaurants multiple times when appropriate.)

Indoor Dining Service

Mauro’s Village Cafe, (508) 485-8730, Facebook 

New Rose Garden Restaurant, (508) 786-5665, website (The restaurant withdrew its application for outdoor dining when the Governor announce the return of indoor dining.)

Owen O’Leary’s, (508) 481-1714, Facebook

Southborough House of Pizza, (508) 481-6511, website

Tomasso Trattoria & Enoteca, (508) 481-8484, websiteFacebook – (The restaurant had been temporarily closed. Now with indoor dining, management was happy to announce they reopened their doors.)

Zumi Pizza, (508) 573-3138 Facebook

reopened* – Hola! Restaurante & Tequila Bar, (508) 460-2058, Facebook and instagram –  [Update: The restaurant announced it’s reopening.]* (The establishment is working on meeting conditions for outdoor dining. When that is ready to open, they plan to open indoors at the same time. Owners are shooting for sometime next week and will share on social media when that’s ready to go.)

Outdoor Dining Service

Mauro’s Village Cafe, (508) 485-8730, Facebook –  As of today, they were still offering service at the outdoor tables. (They weren’t sure how long they will continue to offer that option.)

Owen O’Leary’s, (508) 481-1714, Facebook – Dining is available on the patio.

Red Barn Coffee Café (Rte 9 West location), (508) 481-9556, Facebook

[Editor’s Note: Since the initial post, Red Barn Coffee sold its Southborough Locations to NY Bagel Factory.]

reopened* – Hola! Restaurante & Tequila Bar, (508) 460-2058, Facebook and instagram –  [Update: The restaurant announced it’s opening of outdoor dining.]* (The establishment is working on meeting conditions for opening. Scroll down for those details. Owners are shooting for sometime next week and will share on social media when that’s ready to go.)

Open for takeout/delivery

Most of the restaurants in town are offering takeout and/or delivery these days. (Some are using third party vendors like DoorDash and/or GrubHub for delivery.) 

  • Cold Stone Creamery, website
  • Dunkin’ Donuts, website
  • Domino’s Pizza, (508) 481-3939, website
  • Eros Gourmet Pizza & Deli, (508) 485-1211, website
  • Hola! Restaurante & Tequila Bar, (508) 460-2058, Facebook
  • Mauro’s Village Cafe, (508) 485-8730, Facebook
  • New Rose Garden Restaurant, (508) 786-5665, website
  • Owen O’Leary’s, (508) 481-1714, Facebook
  • Pizza 19, (508) 281-0319, website
  • Pizzaville, (508) 281-0555, website
  • Red Barn Coffee Café (Rte 9 West location), (508) 481-9556, Facebook
  • Southborough House of Pizza, (508) 481-6511, website
  • Starbucks, website
  • Subway, (508) 460-3385, website
  • Tomasso Trattoria & Enoteca, (508) 481-8484, websiteFacebook
  • Wendy’s, website
  • Yama Fuji Asia Cuisine, (508) 460-9400, Facebook (When their indoor dining reopens, they will update Facebook.)
  • Zumi Pizza, (508) 573-3138 Facebook

[Editor’s Note: Since the initial post, Red Barn Coffee sold its Southborough Locations to NY Bagel Factory. And Vin Bin is open.]

Temporarily Closed

Red Barn Coffee Café (Rte 9 East location)The west location is open with outdoor dining

The Vin Bin – 508-485-8884 – Calls to the Southborough store are still forwarded to the owners’ Marlborough location. That location is offering free delivery to Southborough with the purchase of $50 of more of our dry goods and alcohol. Email to get your order started. 

[Editor’s Note: The location has reopened.)

Town Officials on Outdoor Dining Rules & Process, and Hola!’s application

Approval and conditions for Hola! to open outdoor dining 

On Monday, the Town Planner told the Planning Board that Hola!’s application for outdoor dining requested use of 8 parking spaces for the purpose. Planner Karina Quinn said that there was plenty of parking available there. Chair Don Morris agreed with Quinn’s decision to support the application.

Last spring, parking capacity and behavior of drivers exiting the plaza was a subject of much discussion during Planning Board meetings. After the owner of  the plaza at 154 Turnpike Road created a driveway connection between it and abutting 144 Turnpike Rd, Planning investigated violations of the Site Plan and heard complaints from neighbors.

Durning Monday’s meeting, those issues weren’t raised. But at the Board of Selectmen Meeting on Tuesday evening, Assistant Manager Vanessa Hale noted a condition she said was from Planning.

Selectwoman Chelsea Malinowski asked if residents were notified of the change. Hale answered that the Governor waived the need for that during this temporary allowance. But, she noted that Planning prohibited parking on the corner or on Breakneck Hill Road due to past complaints from area residents.

Later, Hale said that conditions and issues would be footnoted on the document for them to post, as well as outlined in a cover letter.

Malinowski also asked if there were barriers to protect tables from cars entering the parking lot. She described the layout from the application as showing that cars traveling from Route 9 to Breakneck Hill Road, then turning left into the parking lot would be “essentially doing a 180” to enter. She asked what kinds of barriers would protect the tables from incoming cars. Chair Marty Healey suggested the Police Department review the layout.

Earlier, Selectwoaen Lisa Braccio asked about details that Town Administrator Mark Purple promised to follow up on before the restaurant could open outdoor dining. Braccio was concerned about the planned lighting for the parking lot given it’s location near residences. She also wondered about the Board of Health’s thoughts about EEE risk. (Last August, outdoor activities were halted in Southborough due to a moderate, then critical, EEE risk.)

Selectmen unanimously approved Hola!’s temporary change to the liquor license and allowed outdoor dining.

Process for Outdoor Dining approval

Prior to discussing the specific restaurant, selectmen discussed how to expedite the process going forward.

Hale worked with a number of departments to put together a process and policy for applications. (The list included the Building Commissioner, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Economic Development Coordinator, Town Planner, and Public Health Director.) At the end of that two week effort, the Governor announced permission for reopening indoor dining.

Purple acknowledged that now the demand would probably be low. He said that the second restaurant which had applied for permission, withdrew it. (That was New Rose Garden. On the phone today, the manager informed me that they want to see how indoor dining goes before considering whether to add outdoor dining.)

Hale noted that with a potential “second wave” of coronavirus, the need may continue. The rules for outdoor dining are through late September.

Noting questions she had about Hola!’s application, Braccio felt uncomfortable giving full authority to Purple to approve future outdoor dining applications.

The board compromised on a path. When an application is submitted, selectmen will be asked to schedule a quick meetings or add the item to the agenda for an approaching meeting. If selectmen can’t (or choose not to) meet soon, the authority to approve will be granted to Purple. To avoid deliberation outside of a meeting, all responses from selectmen will be directed to Purple rather than the group.

The exception was for restaurants with liquor licenses. Amending those would require selectmen’s approval.

(image cropped from wikimedia commons)

*Updated (7/6/20 10:08 am): Hola! followed through on its indoor and outdoor dining plans. On June 27th, the restaurant posted that it would be opening as of June 29th.

Updated (11/25/20 11:39 am): I inserted the editor’s note about the turnover of Red Barn Coffee to to NY Bagel Factory.

Updated (11/25/20 12:16 pm): I updated status of the Vin Bin.

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