GRAND RAPIDS, (WZZM) – BarFly Ventures parklets look to expand their hours of service until 1 a.m., due to the first month's success.
You may have seen them around town, the newest alternative to outdoor dining. Three parklets have been built outside Grand Rapids Brewing Company, Stella's Lounge and McFadden's Saloon. Each outdoor patio is approximately 300 square feet in size and can seat up to 20 people each.
"The parklets for us were a great way to create an outdoor seating area," said Chris Knape, Communications and Marketing Director at BarFly Ventures. "And engage the outdoor area the same way we engage our customers on the inside."
The creative solution to outdoor service was introduced by the city nearly a year ago. Each parklet cost around $27,000 dollars and the Downtown Development Authority supplemented 50 percent of the cost. Between the three locations, only four parking spots were forfeited.
Lindsay Fussman, general manager at Stella's Lounge, said they have seen a high demand in outdoor seating.
"We do notice people stay a little longer than typical because they are outside enjoying the sunshine and nice weather," Fussman said.
The city has approved expanding food and beverage service hours for McFadden's Saloon and Grand Rapids Brewing Company's parklets until 1 a.m. starting mid-September.
The third parklet, at Stella's Lounge, will close each night at 11 p.m. due to its proximity to residential buildings.