Bin 26 Enoteca and the adjacent Upper Crust Pizzeria joined together over the weekend to expand outdoor dining options on Charles Street.
“We talked to The Upper Crust and decided to get it going,” said Bina, who along with his sister, Azita Bina-Seibel, owns and operates Bin 26 at 26 Charles St. “And the city has been very helpful in expediting things for us and helping us to combine the two spaces.”
Bina said he was encouraged to make the plunge into al fresco dining after seeing the positive response that The Paramount and Figs, located at 44 and 42 Charles St., respectively, garnered when they opened for outdoor dining on Charles Street two weeks ago.
Bin 26 and The Upper Crust now have adjacent seating areas, each of which can accommodate between 16 and 18 diners, and Bina sent an email blast to Bin 26’s clientele to inform them of this new amenity.
“There was an immediate response, and it’s been surprisingly great as a lot of people have come to support us from the neighborhood, as well as from outside of Boston,” said Bina, adding that reservations for outdoor seating on Saturday night for Bin 26, whose makeshift patio is open each night from 4 to 8:30 p.m., with a couple of seatings per table, sold out in advance.
“We hoped by building it they will come, and there were clearly people [at the restaurant] who haven’t dined out since the pandemic began,” Bina said. “Our customers truly love Bin 26, and at least two tables on Saturday said it was the first time they had dined out, and that they only felt comfortable dining outdoors.”
Bin 26 has also implemented new safety precautions, such as taking the temperatures of staff, as well as patrons upon their arrival, and sanitizing the entire interior of the restaurant, both frequently and thoroughly.
“For us, it’s important to make sure that even customers seated outside can come inside to use the restroom and feel safe,” Bina said.
In the end, Bina is thankful to the city for giving Bin 26 Enoteca and The Upper Crust an opportunity that, weather permitting, might help both restaurants survive the leanest of times.
“If we continue to have three or four evenings a week of brisk business, it would be an incredible help,” Bina said.