Five streateries coming to Capitol Hill (Plus, the new Sugar Plum parklet)

A Central District parklet along E Union opened last year between 23rd and MLK (Image: CHS)

A Central District parklet along E Union opened last year between 23rd and MLK (Image: CHS)

Five of Seattle’s first dozen nine new “streateries” will be located on Capitol Hill. The hybrid combining the parklet concept with traditional sidewalk patios will create small seating and deck areas for customers in the section of the streetside typically reserved for parking. When the sponsoring businesses aren’t open, the streateries are intended to serve as public park space.

Here’s the roster of Capitol Hill locations announced Monday by the Seattle Department of Transportation:

  • Montana (conversion) — E Olive Way
  • Comet and Lost Lake (conversion) — 10th/Pike
  • Mamnoon — Melrose
  • Bottleneck Lounge — E Madison
  • New project from Comet/Lost Lake partners in former Kingfish Cafe space — 19th Ave E

Two of the five represent a conversion from permitted parklets at the locations into the new format that allows for businesses to operate the spaces as sidewalk cafes exclusively for their patrons during business hours — though the Comet/Lost Lake parklet was never implemented.

In addition to securing approval from neighboring businesses, the streatery hosts are also on the hook for paying for the displaced revenue from removed on-street parking –$3,000 per space, per year. In the case of Montana, site of the city’s first parklet that took up all of 1.5 on-street parking spaces, the E Olive Way bar is on the hook for $4,500 per year  doesn’t owe a damn thing because there’s no paid parking (yet) on E Olive Way. Dave Meinert and the guys at the Comet? They’ll owe around $6,000 per year, apparently. (Updated at 7 PM)

Montana owner Rachel Marshall tells CHS she doesn’t know about the timing for the conversion of her space on E Olive Way saying that working things out with the state liquor board will be her next step — along with writing that check to the City of Seattle.

Meanwhile, the city also announced that 15th Ave E will get a new “old school” parklet in front of the under construction Sugar Plum. The announcement, below, also teases a First Hill location for a new parklet — we’re asking for specifics on where that is planned to be located. UPDATE: SDOT says the press release is incorrect — the location being referred to is not on First Hill but in the Denny Triangle area, instead.

12 New Streateries and Parklets Coming to Seattle

SEATTLE – Nine streateries and three new parklets are coming soon to Seattle! In an exciting start for the new Streatery Pilot Program, nine local businesses will install a streatery near their establishments. They will be joined by three new parklets being sponsored by community and business groups.

Both the parklet and streatery programs let communities convert a small number of on-street parking spaces into usable public space. Streateries are like parklets except the sponsoring restaurant or bar can operate the space as a sidewalk café, providing space exclusively for their customers during their open hours of business. When the bar or restaurant is closed, the space will function as a parklet, open to everyone.

“The addition of these parklets and streateries will add to our city’s vibrant and active street scene,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We look forward to seeing more of these community gathering spots that support neighborhood businesses throughout the city.”

Three of the projects submitted will convert existing parklets to streateries—including Seattle’s first parklet at the Montana Bar on Capitol Hill. The others will create their spaces from scratch. Projects approved for 2015 are:
New Streateries:
Elysian Bar (converting a portion of the existing Chromer Parklet to a streatery), 1516 2nd Ave
Montana Bar (converting existing parklet to a streatery), 1506 E Olive Way
Comet Tavern and Lost Lake Lounge (converting existing parklet to a streatery), 10th Ave and Pike St
Stoneburner, 5214 Ballard Ave NW
Mamnoon, 1508 Melrose Ave
Flowers Bar & Restaurant, 4247 University Way NE
Bottleneck Lounge, 2328 E Madison St
Guild 19th LLC (business not yet named), 600 19th Ave E
TnT Taqueria, 2114 N 45th St
New Parklets:
Community Arts Create, 4248 S Orcas St
Mighty-O Donuts, 1550 NW Market St
Sugar Plum, 324 15th Ave

“These parklets and new streateries are community and business driven,” said Seattle Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly. “We’re thrilled to see neighborhoods joining together to activate public space for better livability and economic vitality.”

Though under different names depending on the city, parklets with café seating (our streateries) have become a popular way to support vibrant neighborhoods throughout North America. Portland, New York, San Jose and Montreal have implemented successful streatery-type programs.

Meanwhile, three previously approved parklets are about to open—in the Hillman City, Ballard and the First Hill neighborhoods. That will bring the total number of completed Seattle parklets to nine—with three of those soon converting to streateries—and another five still in development. When fully built out there will be 14 parklets and nine streateries in Seattle.

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19 thoughts on “Five streateries coming to Capitol Hill (Plus, the new Sugar Plum parklet)

  1. This is all well and good but how will customers take advantage of these new opportunities to eat outside if they can’t find parking?

    • Yes! I love when businesses support their pedestrian customer base. I am a huge fan of all of Rachel’s establishments and I love the parklet outside of Montana. Here’s hoping more people will walk or bike to their local establishments or choose to hop on a bus instead of drive their car around our already traffic-heavy city. Go streateries!

  2. Came here to find (a) complaint(s) about parking, was not disappointed.

    Park and walk.

    Take the bus and walk.

    Ride a bike.

    Walk.

    Pick one. Everyone should walk more. It’s good for you. If you are unable to walk, get someone to drop you off and pick you up.

    • I walk every day. I also ride. I’m part of Cascade. This, including your comment, is ****** stupid. Not everyone lives in the same neighborhood, so now combine that with the apodments robbing all of the street parking and you have businesses that suffer. The Plum place on 15th was barely a viable business. Now they’ll have a parklet?

      This isn’t Paris. People eat outside here for about 5 months of the year. Taking away a parking space and turning it into a homeless camp or empty space for 7 months of the year is just stupid.

    • Copenhagen has a colder climate than Seattle and has hundreds of outdoor cafes throughout the city. Wildly popular. Why? They designed for an enjoyable experience and didn’t worry about climate limiting usefulness. People will take part in outdoor cafes all year round if you provide them a reason to.

      To say “this isn’t Paris” is an incredibly defeatist attitude. I’d love to be more like Paris. And the only way to get there is to try to.

  3. While I’m relieved to see that the city expects revenue for using public space I’m not sure that this process has been as above board as it should be. And I’m not sure that giving up the public space for private business use is entirely appropriate. I’m not a lawyer and don’t know the vagaries and nuances of the laws, nor do I have time to even dig into them, but we should be wary of such approbation of public spaces for private concern, though I’m sure this is not the first and will be the last. The streets and the parking on those streets is public property designed to serve us all.

    • I couldn’t agree more! Basically, these parklets and streateries (shouldn’t that be “streeteries”?) are removing parking and allowing restaurants/bars to usurp public space for their economic gain, and this just doesn’t seem right. In the case of Montana’s, it’s especially egregious because they apparently would be paying nothing for this privilege (it’s irrelevant that there is no paid parking at that location).

      Anyway, I don’t know why anyone would want to dine at Montana’s “streatery”….with busy traffic, and the accompanying noise and fumes, just a few feet away.

    • And it doesn’t bother you to use public property for private storage? If it keeps local businesses in business, then I see nothing wrong with “ursurping pubic space for their economic gain.” Better than that sad stretch in Broadway with no businesses in my opinion.

    • The “streateries” are temporary. Public space is used for private gain all the time. Its not like the city is selling of our public parks for permanent private use. Its just a few parking spaces – which people will enjoy. I’ll take these over the city blocks taken up for private construction any day.

    • LOL do you guys see the irony here? You bemoan the use of public space for private concerns…What do you call private car storage on public streets? At least with streateries more people beyond yourselves are served. It brings vibrancy to a street, which private parking does not.

  4. The erosion of public street parking is nothing new. With the rash of construction, the introduction of pronto bikes, parklets not to mention all the buffers between intersections and valid parking spaces that the city has been creating there are fewer spaces than ever before.

    Because of this I’ve changed my habits and no longer rely on street parking. I’ve been bussing, ubering and mostly walking now more than ever.

    Street parking on arterials has never been my expectation and it shouldn’t be yours either.

    • I agree, street parking is not my expectation and I don’t rely on it. My point is that streets are public property and if the public property is being used for private purposes, generating revenue or not, then the public should be compensated for such use. The fact that E Olive Way does not (at the moment) have paid parking whereas the Comet Tavern does should be irrelevant. Montana and any other business that might be using a parking space as part of their profit scheme should be compensating the city (the public) for the use of the lost parking space.

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  6. “Though under different names depending on the city, parklets with café seating (our streateries) have become a popular way to support vibrant neighborhoods throughout North America. Portland, New York, San Jose and Montreal have implemented successful streatery-type programs.”

    It’s pathetic how Seattle copies everything it can from real cities due to its inferiority complex no matter how little sense it makes. Parklets in San Jose? I’ve been there. It’s a sprawling car oriented city with tons of parking. Taking up a parking space there, wow big whoop. For starters I suspect that the Hill’s restaurant bubble will pop. The pretense that Seattle is much larger than it is and that everyone is pulling down well over six figures is silly. What’s that got to do with it? If you add in the eastsiders who actually pull in well over six figures and could actually find parking on the Hill and don’t mind getting mugged on occasion then maybe the pretense would not be as fake as it is.

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