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New streateries — parklets + street eateries — coming to Capitol Hill

(Image: Seattle Bike Blog)

(Image: Seattle Bike Blog)

Capitol Hill’s first parklet — and the first parklet in Seattle — is also slated to be one of its first streateries.

Montana owner Rachel Marshall confirmed to CHS that she is one of the first applicants for the latest twist in the City of Seattle’s parklet program allowing local businesses to apply to change two or three street parking spaces into public patios and decks.

In announcing the city’s transition of its parklet program out of its preliminary phase, Seattle City Hall also announced a new streatery variation which will give restaurants, cafes, and bars a tighter connection with the facilities. Here’s how the Seattle Department of Transportation describes them:

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.

“Many restaurants want to open a sidewalk café, but just don’t have enough sidewalk to do it,” Mayor Ed Murray says about the new parklet form in an announcement about the program. “This new concept will support neighborhood businesses and add another interesting element to our street scene.”

SDOT will approve applications for up to 15 streateries under the new pilot program. “The sponsoring businesses will construct and maintain the area, and provide table service during their open hours,” SDOT says. Applications for streateries are due on March 20th along with any new parklet applications following what the city says has been a successful pilot.

Here’s what you need to apply:

  • The application form
  • Three letters of support from your community (four for a streatery)
  • A simple site plan showing the ideas for your parklet or streatery
  • A few photos of the proposed location

Parklets and streateries are part of a wave of transitions for SDOT in creating more opportunities for local decisions around how best to use street space. The city’s leading champion of the program has been Jennifer Wieland, public space program manager with SDOT, but CHS has been told she is moving on from that role. Even with the change, SDOT director Scott Kubly seems happy with the program. “Our Parklet Program has enhanced public space in Seattle by successfully partnering with the private sector,” Kubly is quoted as saying in the announcement on the streateries program.

In addition to the E Olive Way parklet in front of Montana, another community project created an early parklet on E Union at 24th in front of Cortona Cafe.

Another parklet is planned for the corner of 10th and E Pike near the Comet and Lost Lake. While we’ve heard some ambitious talk of a larger project to transform 10th Ave, the current vision for the parklet is pretty straightforward according to co-owner Comet and Lost Lake co-owner Dave Meinert. “We hope to incorporate a lot of bike parking and use it to help hide the dumpsters on 10th,” he said.

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12 thoughts on “New streateries — parklets + street eateries — coming to Capitol Hill

  1. Really, Dave Meinert… You hope to “incorporate bike parking” with a parklet “to hide the dumpsters”? Because everyone will want to use a parklet that’s right next to all of those dumpsters.

  2. Having been by Montana and noticing the tagging on their parklet, I’m not convinced of how “enhancing” they are to public space. Another canvas for our street “artists”, unless the sponsors are diligent.

  3. Eliminate parking spaces and you will slowly but surely drive away out-of-neighborhood customers and visitors (pun intended). The Hill will become what the hip and well to do residents really want it to be: a playground just for them.

  4. Very clever on the part of the businesses which sponsor parklets! First, they take over several public parking places in order to provide a space for their customers to smoke. And, now they are taking over those same spaces and incorporating them into their restaurant, for their exclusive use during their opening hours. And all this with the encouragement of the City!

    Something is rotten in Denmark. Isn’t there a law against private businesses confiscating public property?

  5. Perhaps folks need to be reminded that it is ILLEGAL to smoke within 25 feet of the entrance of a bar or restaurant? And before anyone gets angry about it, point out that this is what everyone VOTED for?

  6. Yes! I’m in agreement regarding the smoking. It’s gross. I have to hold my breath every time I walk down Olive. Smoking laws are not enforced at all, and somehow this one block of Olive has become smoker central. I also agree that what was promised as neighborhood enhancement has become private use of public land. No one other than bar patrons would want to hang out in a smoke-filled patio.

    I was actually looking forward to the parklet when I first heard about it. Now I hope they are more careful about placement and enforcement of smoking.

    For the record Montana is one of my favorite neighborhood bars. I thought having the opportunity to get some fresh air while drinking there would be nice. Once I realized that “fresh air” meant smoke blown into my face I realized staying inside was better.

    I also feel like the sidewalk by Montana is too narrow to have a parklet adjacent to it. People congregate and wander drunkenly from the bar to the parklet without paying attention to people trying to walk down the sidewalk. It’s a small nuissance that would be acceptable it the parklet did the neighborhood service.

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