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Bishop Arts Restaurant Installs ‘Parklet’ to Encourage Social Distancing Al Fresco

The City of Dallas is expected to consider these temporary “parklets” next week

a large wooden bench makes up a parklet in the parking lot of Revelers Hall
Revelers Hall’s brand new “parklet”
Jason Roberts for Revelers Hall

While forced to close by the coronavirus pandemic, Bishop Arts bar Revelers Hall is getting creative with the space outside its restaurant.

Yesterday, Revelers Hall’s owners built a temporary “parklet,” or an outdoor seating space that takes up the size of a standard parking space, in front of its Bishop Avenue space. According to co-owner Jason Roberts, the “parklet” was built in an effort to promote appropriate social distancing for outdoor diners and those walking around on the sidewalks. “If you walk the district now, you’ll see people eating outside and pedestrians having to pass them within three feet,” Roberts wrote on Facebook. “This keeps the sidewalk clear and moves the seating at a much safer distance.”

The inspiration for this particular “parklet” comes from Europe, following a trip Roberts and co-owner Amy Wallace Cowan took to France, Italy, and Switzerland. “We had seen lots of these both in the U.S. and abroad, but the ones in Geneva were smartly used to create outside space on their hilly streets to create patios for the small cafes,” Cowan tells Eater.

When Governor Greg Abbott announced that restaurants could reopen their dining rooms at 25 percent capacity, that just wasn’t a plan that made any sense for Revelers Hall, because the spot’s staff and live band would be included in that capacity limit. With the addition of the “parklet,” Cowan is excited to pay the musicians who bring live music to Revelers Hall. “They are gig workers and independent contractors, and getting unemployment through that program is very cumbersome and slow,” she says.

According to Cowan, the City of Dallas is expected to consider the installation of these temporary parklets next week, which could mean that this bright new addition to Bishop Arts would have to come down. “Regulations would be needed,” Cowan says. “But hopefully we can look to other cities around the world doing it, and adopt best practices.”

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