This past weekend, a locally designed and built parklet was added to the ongoing French Market Place concept demonstration, which closes one block of French Market Place to through-traffic from 7 a.m. Thursday through 7 a.m. Monday on a weekly basis.
The demonstration is an opportunity for the City and community stakeholders to interact with a parklet, which reimagines a section of the on-street parking lane for expanded sidewalk space – including as outdoor seating for restaurants and bars. This demonstration will help the City test design specs and guidance for the creation of an upcoming parklet permit program.
"Under Mayor Cantrell's direction, we have been innovating to remake outdoor public spaces during COVID-19 with our Outdoor Dining programs such as the Parklet Pilot Program, temporary Sidewalk Cafe permits, and others," said Jeffrey Schwartz, Director, Office of Economic Development. "The French Market Place Parklet is a prime example of the value that our public spaces can offer besides parking both during the pandemic and beyond. We appreciate the partnership of the French Market, StayLocal, and the Greater New Orleans Foundation in making this possible, and we look forward to collaborating to activate streetscapes throughout the City as we recover from COVID."
This demonstration was made possible through a partnership with the Urban Conservancy/StayLocal, the French Market Corporation, French Market Place businesses, and the financial support of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
"The French Market Corporation is excited to be part of this partnership and the site of this first demonstration project,” said Leslie Alley, Interim Executive Director of the French Market Corporation. "As our locals and visitors return to the Market, we want to provide a safe social environment where they can enjoy some of the best food and retail the City has to offer. Our vendors are excited to have additional seating in this historic open-air environment. We invite everyone to come to the Market and give us your feedback on this great new program."
"By designing and building this prototype locally, we're showing that expanding dining into the street can add real value to a business. This is one way that we can give a leg up to New Orleans' hard-hit restaurant and bar owners,” said Maryann Miller, Program Manager with StayLocal.
"The COVID-19 pandemic forced dramatic changes in the way businesses were allowed to operate, requiring creative and innovative solutions,” said Andy Kopplin, President and CEO, Greater New Orleans Foundation. "We’re proud to have partnered with the City, the French Market Corporation, and StayLocal to show the way by giving small, local businesses new opportunities to safely serve their customers in an inviting outdoor setting as part of this exciting parklet demonstration project."
Currently, bars and restaurants citywide can apply for a Pilot Parklet permit for added seating capacity during COVID occupancy restrictions. For more details on current options, visit nola.gov/parklets.