Businesses Build ‘Parklets’ as Part of Citywide Pilot Program

Pythian Parklet CropNEW ORLEANS — Local businesses have begun setting up “parklets” as part of the City’s Parklet Pilot Program, one component of an outdoor dining initiative that allows restaurants and bars to use on-street parking spaces in front of their restaurants and bars for additional seating. This can provide additional safe dining spaces for restaurants and bars while the occupancy limits are reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions. The application fee has been waived until Dec. 31.

The pilot expanded citywide at the end of October and is expected to run for as long as there are COVID-related occupancy restrictions in restaurants and bars. After that, the City is expecting to launch a permanent parklet program. Details regarding the transfer from pilot to permanent parklet program will be released as the permanent program is developed, but it will require re-permitting. The City said it will work to make that process as seamless as possible for pilot participants.

“This administration continues to work with our business community, supporting their efforts to operate within the public health guidelines which are essential in protecting their employees and customers. The Parklet Pilot Program provides businesses with innovative new ways to repurpose and activate the right-of-way for outdoor activities. I want to thank our team and our community partners for working quickly and efficiently to make parklets a reality and I look forward to seeing them pop up on our main street corridors across the City,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

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“Our small businesses — and particularly our restaurants and bars — are the backbones of New Orleans community and culture, and we know that they have been deeply impacted by COVID. With this permit, almost every restaurant and bar in the city will be able to have some outdoor space, which we know are safer than being indoors. The launch of the Parklet permit citywide is another example of how the City of New Orleans is creatively using its assets to support our businesses, create safe spaces for residents, and activate our neighborhoods,” said Jeff Schwartz, director, Office of Economic Development.

Pilot Parklets are required to provide a barrier along the active right-of-way. To aid in this expense, the City has acquired 200 barricades that can be provided to businesses on a first-come first-serve basis. These will be placed by the City in coordination with the applicant for the pilot period.

“We are excited the parklet program gives us options to safely host our customers and that this program will live beyond our current disaster to be a permanent part of the City’s landscape,” said Jackie Dadakis, chief executive officer of Green Coast Enterprises and co-owner of Pythian Market, a participant in the program.

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The second round of outdoor dining grants — for parklets and curbside dining areas —began on Monday, Nov. 2. To stay up to date, visit outdoordiningnola.com.

The City will be accepting applications through the City’s One Stop Shop, and by email at outdoordining@nola.gov. Review the application requirements and a step-by-step overview of the process here and view a copy of the application here.

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