Prettiest Parklet Contest

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.

The future of parklets

Admittedly, eating and drinking in the street would never have been allowed if it weren’t for the pandemic, but someday COVID-19 will be under control and we’ll be able to go back inside.

However, some restaurants and wine bars would like to keep their dining rooms on the street after the coronavirus threat is over. Some feel they’ve invested large sums in their parklets and see an opportunity to increase their seating and visibility.

Some members of Carmel City Council and the community are discussing the future of the parklets recently. It’s quite possible they’ll become a permanent part of downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea.

You can watch and even participate in parklet meetings on the City’s Youtube channel here.

So, which is your favorite?

As you enjoy the examples above, please consider:

• Does the parklet enhance or distract from it’s surroundings?

• Does the parklet take aesthetic cues from the adjacent buildings and environment?

• Carmel-by-the-Sea has always been naturally photogenic. Do you think parklets are Instagram-able?

• Do Carmel-by-the-Sea’s parklets remind you of Europe? Have you been to Europe?

• Are parklets something you’d like to see forever in downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea?

Tell the City!

Email your City Council. It’s fun, easy, and effective!

Watch and even participate on the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea’s Youtube channel.

Carmel Youtube Channel