"Pop-Up Parks" proposed for St. Paul restaurants
Yesterday, at Bin Wine Bar in Lowertown, city officials and business owners discussed a collaborative effort to address a lack of outdoor seating. Looking to duplicate efforts in San Francisco and New York, San Francisco architect Riyad Ghannam was in town to present his concept of the "Pop-Up Park," removable sidewalk seating to be used in the summer and stored in the winter. Installed in the parking meter spaces in front of the businesses, the units are made of hardwood, similar to a small deck, designed to appear like an extension of Mears Park.
Ghannam said the businesses that have integrated this seating plan have seen a 15 to 20 percent increase in sales. Rebecca Illingworth, owner of Bin, says she has felt a real need for additional outdoor seating to stimulate business, and to enhance the experience of her guests in the summer.
Having this seating plan across from the park along Sixth Street would mean losing 23 parking stalls for about four months of the year, which causes concern. But as city officials and business owners consider the plans, the advantages are that no permanent changes have to be made-- the "parks" can simply be moved to another location if the experiment is unsuccessful.
The "Pop-Up Park" model will be on display in front of Bin Wine Bar, at Sixth Street and Sibley, until Sunday, September 26.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Minneapolis & St. Paul dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.