Cedar Rapids Council to Consider Adding More Parklets
By Heather Hubbs, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A pilot program that brought more outdoor dining to downtown Cedar Rapids is coming to an end -- at least for this year.
The "parklets" that have been placed outside a number of restaurants will be taken out for the winter. Now it's up to the city council to decide if they'll be brought back or if more will be added outside other restaurants in the future.
"What we're going to do is at the end of the year look at our cost for the program, how much it cost us, then see if there's anything we learned from the first year and what fee structure might be in the future," said city planner Seth Gunnerson.
City officials say if the parklets return, the restaurants who had them this year -- including Zins, The Lost Cuban, and White Star -- will have first dibs on having them again next year. The fourth parklet is outside Theatre Cedar Rapids.
Each parklet cost $15,000 to purchase -- a fraction of the millions it would cost to permanently redo the street scape. Restaurants paid just $10 this year to have them outside their bushiness, but some also had to purchase furniture. Chris Miller, manager of Zins, says the parklet has boosted business.
"It's drawn guests from the hotel, who see it from their room," said Miller. "it's increased our mid-afternoon and dinner business."
Miller says, if given the option, he would definitely want to bring the parklet back to Zins next spring.
What's On KCRG