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Rendering courtesy of Studio One Eleven.
We had just recently lauded the massive parklet installed on 4th just east of Pine. And the parklets popping up in other places in DTLB. And long ago rejoiced about the pseudo-parklet over at what is now Ellie’s in Alamitos Beach. And before that, the parklets along Retro Row.
But now, the residents and visitors of Downtown Long Beach can smile even more at the fact that they will not only be getting yet another parklet courtesy of Studio One Eleven along what I dubbed “Decadence Row,” a part of Pine Avenue that is home to Saints and Sinners Bakeshop, Romeo Chocolates, and the Pie Bar. (The latter two will be sharing the new parklet.)
Much like the one serving 4th Street, this parklet between 4th and 5th Streets on Pine will be made from an old shipping container.
“This will be the second privately installed and maintained parklet in Long Beach—as well as in the nation—serving several restaurants with a common outdoor dining space,” said Studio One Eleven Principal Michael Bohn.
Parklets arose out a particular need: the desire of pedestrians and urbanites to take back the public space that had largely been handed over to the vehicle. Originally, they were temporary (think Park(ing) Day), coming to be assembled and then disassembled; however, as the need for more ped-friendly space continued to grow, the thought of more permanent parklets arose.
With joining the parklets at both Hamburger Mary’s and 4th Street, this new parklet makes DTLB the epicenter of parklet dining—and that, in turn, means more outdoor dining and heavier foot traffic on a part of Pine that has largely been ignored. (That is, before Mary’s, anywhere above 3rd and, after Mary’s, anywhere above 4th.)
“We have long supported parklets,” said Sean Warner, Placemaking Manager at the Downtown Long Beach Alliance. “If we can help facilitate the work between city officials and restaurants to garner more parklets as well as sidewalk seating, then we are working toward our goal of making sidewalks safer, more interactive, more social.”