Let the parklet’s stay forever. That’s the idea behind a new petition that’s gaining steam among San Francisco's legendary restaurant scene.
North Beach is already one of those special must visit San Francisco's dining destinations and people who live and work there say the curbside atmosphere adds to the ambiance and will help the city recover from the financial hardships of the pandemic - if the city will let it stay.
“It just makes the community be much more vibrant,” said Angela A. of North Beach. “I feel like we’re almost more connected this way, than we are when we’re isolated inside.”
Some people who live in the neighborhoods where these dining parklets have become big business like it and want it to stay.
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“I think it would be a good idea, I mean it also keeps people safe, and it’s also giving business to the people that need the business,” said Norih and Sal of San Francisco.
The current program is scheduled to end June 30, but Grow SF, a nonprofit with the goal of bringing together people who embrace change, began a petition to keep the pandemic Shared Spaces program even after the city fully reopens.
“It will help us, for sure, to recuperate some of the money we lost in the past year. Plus, honestly, I think it looks really good,” said Natale Cardamon, manager of Tony’s Pizza.
The head of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which represents hundreds of San Francisco restaurants, says it could also help bring back some of the businesses that have closed permanently during the pandemic.
“It is super critical, and I think for tourism, which we’re going to be so reliant on tourists to help us recover as a city,” said Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association. “We really need a welcoming outdoor experience.”
One neighbor agrees, comparing it to her former home in italy -- and she’s not alone.
“That’s why I love it, because it’s typical italian,” said Cardamon. “In italy, especially in the summer, we always eat outside.”
The Golden Gate Restaurant Association says it’s already working with the city on plans to keep curbside dining and its executive director said a proposal could be released very soon.
Meanwhile, she supports this added effort to get support.
Anyone wishing to sign the petition can find it at growsf.org.