Necessity is the mother of invention, and while parklets are by no means a novel creation, the pandemic undoubtedly spawned their golden era in cities throughout the country. In San Francisco, a parklet program was started in 2010 to repurpose underutilized street space — parking spots — into public areas that included seating and bike racks.
In the coming years, the city installed 38 parklets, a paltry sum compared to the 1,250 parklets that have been installed since July 2020. At the time of publication, the number of shared spaces and parklets hovers around 2,100 with more on the horizon.
Shared Spaces, a program of San Francisco’s Economic Recovery Task Force, was established in May 2020 as a temporary solution to the forced closure of restaurants and bars across the city. A respite for socially-starved residents and a lifeline for cash-strapped business, the parklets were granted numerous extensions, but the fate of these ad-hoc structures was in limbo until this past July.
Thankfully, the SF Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to make the city’s pandemic parklets all permanent fixtures. Here are 10 of our favorites.
It’s great to see this beloved Inner Richmond gem stay in step with the changing needs of restaurants so customers can keep enjoying the rainbow salad and jasmine flower art tea. With heaters throughout and tables arranged with ample space between parties, it’s a pretty cushy al fresco experience.
Spanning over 60 feet — almost the full length of the restaurant’s main building — the Terrace at Palette can comfortably accommodate 25-30 guests on its raised redwood-planked patio.
Indulge in some of the finest Italian offerings in the city under twinkling lights and winding vines. Interior design legend Ken Fulk opted for a classic look, complete with red checkered tablecloths.