Downtown Bellingham parking spot transformed into parklet for summer

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 20, 2013 

DASHI PARKLET

Ryan Wynne of Bellingham enjoys his lunch outside at a parklet on May 15, 2013, outside of Dashi Noodle Bar in Bellingham. Dashi Noodle Bar maintains the parklet and covers parking fees for the parking spots it filled.

COLIN DILTZ — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

BELLINGHAM - One of the parking spots in front of Dashi Noodle Bar has been temporarily transformed into a petite park as part of an effort to create more outdoor space in the city.

The restaurant, located at 1311 N. State St., paid to install and permit the small park - called a parklet - and paid to cover the parking fees for the space it's occupying.

The parking space now has wood floors, wood benches and potted plants.

"We have some tables out there, so people have been bringing their noodles out to the parklet to eat," said Dashi owner Josh Silverman. "Everyone's been enjoying it so far."

The city's first parklet popped up for a temporary stay last summer in front of La Fiamma Wood Fire Pizza on Railroad Avenue. Sustainable Connections helped put together the parklet project with donated labor and supplies, so there was no cost to the city.

Reaction to that parklet was mixed, with some people praising the additional seating and green space and others bemoaning the loss of a downtown parking space.

This spring, downtown businesses were allowed to apply to host the parklet in one of their spots, and a committee that included city staff chose Dashi for the parklet.

"I had visited the park in its previous location and just thought it was a really good idea," Silverman said. "I liked the idea of providing more green space throughout downtown, and I thought it would be a nice attraction, somewhere nice for our customers and other passers-by to congregate to enjoy the nice weather."

The parklet, which was installed earlier this month, will remain in front of the restaurant through the summer before being removed this fall.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com.

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