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‘Parklets’ create more seating for downtown Colorado Springs restaurants

Parklets being Built

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A bit of innovation is coming to Downtown Colorado Springs as dozens of volunteers will build four “parklets” to help with downtown outdoor dining.

Moving back to level red coronavirus restrictions means indoor dining has once again closed to the public, leaving many restaurant owners scratching their heads on what they were going to do to stay in business.

Johnathan Shankland, General Manager of Jax Fish House, said: “Well, it was just another challenge in a series of challenges this year. It seems like as soon as you master one set of challenges something else is thrown at you and you just have to adapt.”

In steps the Downtown Partnership. Teaming with HBA Cares and GE Johnson while also securing money through a $12,000 grant. Four parklets are being built for Jax Fish House, Colorado Craft, Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub, and Red Gravy.

Shankland says he was thrilled when Downtown Partnership approached them with the idea.

“It has four full-service restaurants in a row right here so this is the ideal environment to have these structures and to have this service available,” said Shankland.

Once built, the four parklets will be able to hold a total of 128 people. It’s not a permanent fix, but Shankland hopes it will be just the boost that they need to keep going.

“It will almost restore our capacity to where it was at 50%. So that gets us back out of red or back to orange is what that was,” he said.

Downtown is a vital part of Colorado Springs, so keeping restaurants in business is key.

Shankland said, “And I think having a strong city center makes a huge difference. I think that when folks come downtown they get something that’s unique, that is local, and can really be the beating heart of the city.”

There will still be work to do to finish the parklets, so expect seating to open up sometime next week.

Colorado Springs / Local News / News
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Kolby Crossley

Kolby is a reporter for Good Morning Colorado. Learn more about Kolby here.

Comments

5 Comments

  1. What a freaking joke! So if you build a “temporary” structure and enclose it outside then it is ok to dine in/out? You would think it would be safer inside with proper air circulation and filtering. Better ways to sanitize and keep clean.

    This goes to show you they have no clue what they are doing when it comes to restrictions. What about the business that can’t have these “Parklets”? Will the city help more businesses or just the downtown ones?

    1. Maybe building ICUs would have been a better idea. And then quarantine/lockdown for the at-risk citizens. Surely hospitals have field tents sitting around in the basement ready for mass casualty events. Or what about those hospital ships that were barely used in NY and CA? Where did those go? Surely we didn’t have to shut everything down again to bare-minimum with slim-to-no chance of recovery. Since this is all revolving around hospital capacity.

  2. How long until these are overrun with homeless weirdos that will harass and scare away all the normal people?

  3. Am I the only one who doesn’t get this? Their statement “Once built, the four parklets will be able to hold a total of 128 people”… What difference does it make whether you are in this parklet thing or sitting inside a restaurant? You still have people sitting within it. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Not only are they losing business, but now they are trying to pay for something that sits outside which they probably cannot afford.

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