ParknPool Helps Provide Restaurants And Cafés With “On-Street” Parking

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Street seating is popping up in Westport, Connecticut after the craze in New York and San Francisco hit the streets with huge a success, according to Westport News. ParknPool offers street seating for locations interested in joining this craze.

"Pop Out" Seating

As a restaurant owner (or any business owner really) I'm always looking for a way to increase my bottom line - pop out seating is a great way to do that!

A new craze is popping up in San Francisco, New York City, and recently in Westport, Connecticut. Outdoor seating for eateries on busy, narrow streets has been a roadblock for restaurant owners for many years- until now. The solution? Convert parking spaces into a street patio, or “pop-out” seating for the public with tables and chairs from ParknPool. According to an article in West View News written by Benny Benepe, “the pop-up has become an oasis attracting workers and residents alike.” From May to mid October, diners and pedestrians can relax and enjoy life outdoors. During the cold months the seating is stored and the street is restored to available parking spaces.

This year, in Westport, Connecticut ten parking spaces are being transformed into outdoor seating. In New York City, the Department of Transportation (DOT) approved applications for twelve of these pop-up cafés. The cafés sit on platforms, creating a level surface between the sidewalks and seating, making the dining area handicap accessible. The number of parking spaces given to the cafés and restaurants is determined by the size of the facility. Two restaurants in New York City collaborated, and together they have a six (6) foot wide by one-hundred-twenty-five (125) foot long platform. Both restaurants were responsible for the construction costs, and since creating the extra outdoor dining space they have noticed a twenty percent increase in their sales. Since no wait service is allowed, the seating is open for public use without any commitment to buy anything from the establishment.

To keep within the safety guidelines set by the DOT, the removable platform was raised to street level and a barrier separates the diners and motorist. The restaurants used concrete planters; however they could have also installed security barriers (bollards) or patio fencing. The furniture used to outfit the expanded seating areas is brought inside every evening and must be stored for the winter. Collapsible tables and folding chairs are used to outfit the expanded seating as they are space saving and light weight, making for quick and easy transportation and storage.

Safety is a major concern among diners, so pop-up cafés are generally only located on slow moving one way streets. Each application for the pop-out seating is reviewed on a case by case basis to make sure that emergency routes or access point are not obstructed. Many establishments are protecting their patrons with cement planters filled with colorful flowers or sleek guard fences so diners can use and enjoy the extra seating without worry.

ParknPool, located in Lexington, Virginia is a distributer of outdoor site amenities and restaurant furnishing, for both the indoors and out. They carry an extensive selection of products, from cement planters and patio fencing to collapsible seating and tables to help restaurant owners furnish pop-up cafés.

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Meagan Deacon

Alice Vaughan-Williams
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