Richmond supports restaurants with ‘Picnic in a Parklet’
Program creates parklike outdoor dining areas on street parking spaces
Two Richmond restaurants will see their on-street parking lanes become outdoor dining areas this week to serve customers, spark business and encourage safer and socially distanced spaces.
The dining areas are part Richmond city government’s “Picnic in a Parklet” pilot program, a partnership between the city and downtown booster Venture Richmond, according to a March 30 announcement. Three other locations are in the works.
The program, which helps businesses with design and permitting, uses prefabricated parklets from Archatrak Inc. The company, which has offices in Chevy Chase, MD, describes its StreetDeck parklets as a self-contained, modular way to create street seating. The parklets include railings and planters and require minimal installation, the company says.
“Public space is a valuable community asset that we have the responsibility to use intentionally and equitably,” Mayor Levar Stoney said in the announcement. “These five new parklets outside small businesses certainly meet that mission.”
The first two parklets will be installed on North 29th Street, adjacent to the Nile Ethiopian Café, and North Shields Avenue, adjacent to Joe’s Inn.
The city says two other parklets are going through the permitting process in addition to the program’s five planned parklets, designed by HKS Architects and Walter Parks Architects.