place for the community to gather. Parklets have continuous benefits to not only the community, but to the businesses nearby. By allowing for moments of delight, serenity and respite, parklets bring the community together while allowing adjacent businesses to reap increased profits.
Utilizing space that was previously designated as a parking area has become popular as local restaurants begin to open up - while, of course, complying with the COVID-19 physical distancing requirements. This change allows restaurants to welcome their customers back safely, while encouraging future benefits for the community and surrounding businesses.
As Governor Northam allowed for restaurants to begin opening their doors, Jim Barnes, co-owner of Cowboy Café, jumped on this new trend, turning the parking lot adjacent to the restaurant into outdoor seating for the many loyal Cowboy Café customers returning. However, Barnes wanted to give his faithful customers something more than just tables in a parking lot. Inspired by the incredible diversity of Miami’s Wynwood murals, Jim, with the Lee Highway Alliance Placemaking Salon, implemented a mural by MasPaz for the parking lot wall, added dynamic lighting by Dominion Lighting, and installed other amenities such as plants and screening from the road.
Stop by Cowboy Café in the coming weeks to see how a little creativity can turn a parking lot into something so much more.