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Picnic in a Parklet: citywide program launched to help restaurants

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Posted at 6:56 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 19:01:49-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A new citywide program called "Picnic in a Parklet" has just launched to help restaurants implement social distancing guidelines.

Venture Richmond and the City of Richmond partnered to offer assistance with design and permitting to restaurants looking to add more outdoor seating space.

Parklets offer a flexible, outdoor patio space for the public to use. They are installed in the on street parking lane in front of the participating business.

Construction for five parklets will begin this week at restaurants apart of the program.

The first two parklets will be installed outside of Nile Ethiopian Café in Church Hill and Joe's Inn in the fan.

“The Picnic in a Parklet program has been an exciting new frontier for the city and its partners,” said Mayor Stoney. “Public space is a valuable community asset that we have the responsibility to use intentionally and equitably. These five new parklets outside small businesses certainly meet that mission.”

The five parklets were created by Archatrack and purchased by the City of Richmond Department of Public Works.

“Picnic in a Parklet is a testament to what can happen when city departments, placemaking experts and businesses work together,” said Jason Alley, Provisional Policy Advisor for Restaurants and Small Businesses. “This commonsense collaboration makes it possible for countless residents to safely enjoy public space while supporting our treasured local business community.”

In addition the parklets already purchased two business led designs are in the procress of being approved by the Urban Design Committee and Planning Commission.

Designed by HKS Architects and Walter Parks Architects, those parklets will be installed in the Brookland Park and Jackson Ward communities.