Downtown Development: For some downtown Rockford businesses, dinner in a parking space can be delightful
“I saw these seats when I was driving past,” Diana Hamblock said over lunch outside at Woodfire Brick Oven Pizza, 408 E. State St. “I called (a friend) and said, ‘We have to go to eat there.’ “
Three downtown businesses have set up wooden platforms in streetside parking spaces, complete with seating areas and dividers to separate them from the road. The city calls them parklets. Customers see them as a nice space to eat outdoors, and the River District Association — which spearheaded the idea — calls them a part of downtown revitalization. Many incorporate greenery and shading, making them inviting stopping points for passersby as well as customers.
This year, Rockford Roasting Company and Woodfire Brick Oven Pizza joined Rockford Art Deli in installing parklets. David Bieck of Distinctive Creations designed and built all three. He said the cost ranges from $1,000 to $3,000, for a project that takes about a week.
T-Map Projects: Downtown Development: http://transformrockford.org/trprojects/index.php?parent=Downtown%20Development