Dec 10, 2021 - News

Atlanta City Council will keep 'parklets' alive... for now

A group of people sit at an outdoor seating area made from two unused parking spaces
The parklet at Prevail Union in Home Park. Photo courtesy of the Upper Westside CID

This week, the Atlanta City Council gave the OK to keep outdoor seating areas known as "parklets" alive and well at least until the end of 2022.

Why it matters: Atlanta’s workforce, restaurants and cafes are vital to the city’s street life and culture, and Atlanta weather is (usually) too pleasant to stay cooped up inside. More than 200,000 metro Atlantans work in food service jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Earlier this year, unused on-street parking spaces gave patrons a place to eat outside and restaurants and coffee shops a way to keep afloat while following health guidelines.

Catch up quick: In January, the city planning department launched a program to help eating and drinking establishments build temporary outdoor seating areas.

The program awarded $250,000 in grants to help 16 restaurants and cafes convert a total of 32 parking spaces into the seating areas.

  • Participating businesses include the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club, Flatiron, Dancing Goats (Midtown) and others. More parklets are on the way, Planning Commissioner Tim Keane tells Axios.

What they're saying: "Our customers instantly began using it," Johnny Martinez, the co-owner of Joystick Gamebar, tells Axios. "Plus, the streetscape improvement is invaluable to our neighborhood. It adds a layer of urbanism that Atlanta has been missing for far too long."

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