The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent new outbreaks have changed dining out in a number of ways. Takeout and delivery of food is booming, as many feel safer eating at home. But as Americans venture out for a true restaurant experience, and local officials seek safe effective ways of boosting their struggling economies, parklets and streeteries (also spelled streateries) are emerging. While planning and policy often need to be altered in these communities – those localities quick to adopt the concept of parklets and streeteries are seeing great success in aiding the ailing economies but also in allow their residents to return to some aspects of normal living – like enjoying a meal with family or friends at their favorite eatery.
The Parklet and the Streetery – Defined
First, the parklet is a design which allows restaurants and eateries to se the sidewalk, parking lanes, or parking spaces to extend the restaurant for patrons. Parklets have been in existence for some time, prior to COVID-19, and you have likely seen them at one of more of your favorite restaurants. Streeteries, on the other hand have emerged in the age of COVID-19, a hybrid term combining “street” and “eatery.” The term encompasses outdoor seating for restaurant guests that has been transformed from a street, shoulder, or street parking spaces. While restrictions like stay at home orders have been eased, many people are still hesitant to dine inside their favorite eateries. In addition, with many areas still in the re-opening phases, often the number of patrons being served is limited, which makes parklets and streeteries the ultimate solution to keeping diners and staff save while boosting the economic recovery in communities around the country. Streeteries and parklets allow for the physical distancing required to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and research has shown it to be more effective in outdoor environments than inside.
The How of Parklets and Streeteries
Though new in some communities, larger cities like New York, Seattle, and others have planned and permitted parklets and streeteries for years. Parklets and Streeteries have been shown to improve restaurant business through increased foot traffic and sales, as well as encouraging patrons to walk, bike, and utilize public transit which in turn enhances public health and helps the environment. Cities and towns around the country have embraced the idea of parklets and streeteries, working in conjunction with restaurant owners to remove the barriers in previously exiting municipal codes. The move toward these outdoor eateries is beneficial, especially now as communities work to keep the citizenry safe and restore their local economies. Restaurant owners still have to follow local parklet and streetery parameters for their city or town.
Creating Your Parklet or Streetery
When designing your parklet or streetery, the safety of your patrons should come first. This begins with the erection of barriers to protect patrons from vehicular traffic as well as provide a measure of privacy from sidewalk traffic. Next you will want to ensure the area for your intended parklet or streetery does not obstruct drains in the space, after all they are important in directing stormwater away and keeping your new restaurant extension ready for patrons. You will also want to design your parklet or streetery to withstand stormy weather and be ready to welcome guests when the rain ends. Depending on the area you access for your streetery or parklet, you will want to make sure the space is level for the safety of your guests as well as your employees.
Next, its time to beautify your space, and TerraCast has the products you need including planters, seating, lighting, and more. From the TerraCast step planter to the TerraCast Catalina planter and everything in between, TerraCast unique polymer resin planters can be used to create a safe, attractive environment for restaurant patrons. Every planter from TerraCast is durable and long lasting, offered in a variety of sizes and colors, making them the perfect solution for parklet and streetery décor, while also creating the needed barriers. In addition, TerraCast planters are maintenance-free and lightweight making them the ideal solution for localities which may require a nightly take down of your parklet or streetery. Add season plants, seating, lighting, and more, and your al fresco dining area is ready to welcome your guests. Are you ready to get started? Call on the team at TerraCast Products to help!