Author: Meg Harvey
Title: Street Eats: Supporting Vancouver’s restaurants during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Category: Health & wellness
Description: Under the Governor’s guidelines for businesses in Phase 2, restaurants in Washington could open at 50% occupancy. These Safe Start guidelines offered local businesses a helpful playbook but would make it difficult for many to stay afloat in the long run. Following a coordinated effort by the Vancouver Downtown Association, a group of people from the public, private, and nonprofit sector came together to find a solution. This was the beginning of “Street Eats”, a sidewalk parklet program created to help restaurants increase seating capacity. In little over 2 weeks, the city’s first parklets were designed, prototyped, tested, built, and installed. Typically, an effort like this would take months to get off the ground. With the support of the City and many dedicated volunteers, the pilot program was launched with great success - and continues to be a safe, fun, and hopeful symbol of the way people in Vancouver care about one another. There is a long road back from the pandemic, but shared efforts to activate the community will help us all get there.