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.”
HAPPENING NOW: 50 Volunteers building 4 parklets for restaurants in Downtown Colorado Springs to help improve outdoor dining. One restaurant general manager telling us this will help them get back to 50 percent capacity. @KRDONC13 pic.twitter.com/1wlDHatcXd— Kolby Crossley (@KolbyKRDO13) December 11, 2020
There will still be work to do to finish the parklets, so expect seating to open up sometime next week.