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The Parklet Era Begins Downtown Grand Rapids

The Parklet Era Begins Downtown Grand Rapids
Posted Tuesday, August 19th 2014 @ 5pm  by Chuck LaTour, WOOD Radio news team

A new look for downtown Grand Rapids. 

They are called parklets -- patios set up along the curb-lane of the street. BarFly Ventures today opened the city’s first parklets with street patios outside Grand Rapids Brewing Co., McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon and Stella’s Lounge.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc's Kris Larson tells WOOD Radio the parklets are all about creating more space for people to enjoy the atmosphere of downtown.

"It is about enabling a portion of the public space to be better enjoyed by people and create more vibrancy along the sidewalk and into the street itself in the parking lane."

Each of the parklets will include tables, chairs, umbrellas and plants to provide a unique "on-street" dining and drinking experience.

They were scheduled to open earlier this month, but were delayed due to a permit problem.

The three parklets are part of a pilot program. If everything goes well, they may go up every summer.

Each parklet cost about $27,000 to install, about half of which was paid for by the Downtown Development Authority. Barfly Ventures, which owns the three restaurants, paid for the rest.

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