During all the shelter-in-place and stay-at-home months of the pandemic the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea allowed struggling restaurants and wine bars to borrow parking spaces and sidewalks near their location, commonly known as “parklets”. It’s believed there’s less chance of catching COVID-19 serving food and eating outside instead of inside, so parklets are basically a temporary outdoor dining room set up on the street.
All the participating restaurants and wine bars did their best to meet the needs of their customers, the rules of the City, and stay within their budgets. Since there was little oversight from the Design Review, Planning, or Building Department, each is a reflection of the owner’s aesthetic notions and construction skills. It also represents their feelings about tourists, their neighbors, and Carmel.