PALISADE, Colo. –Social distance seating is popping up all over the Grand Valley. The city of Fruita opened its outdoor space on Peach St. last weekend, and now the town of Palisade is getting in on the action. Palisade received a $50,000 state grant to renovate its on-street seating, which the town plans to “winterize,” so it can safely serve the socially distanced customers all year round.
In 2016, Palisade installed the on-street seat spaces, called parklets, to help boost local businesses, and fortunately, once COVID spiked, the parklets became instrumental for these businesses. John Sabal, owner of Palisade Cafe and Wine Bar, says, “the parklets really saved our business, and that’s not an exaggeration.”
However, over the years, the parklets have aged. Local businesses used to maintain the outdoor dining spaces, but they no longer need to do renovations. From the Colorado Department of Transportation, Palisade received a $50,000 grant to promote social distancing. The money is also in addition to the funds supplied by the Federal CARES Act, and the combination of the dollars will go towards upgrading the parklets for year round use.
The Palisade parklets are unlike any other outdoor dining spaces in the Grand Valley. That’s because the parklets are specific for each business, and the upgraded designs will be catered to each business’ taste.
But one major concern by some people involves the access to available parking. Marc Maurer, the architect for the project, says the parklets steal a few street parking spots in order to transform them to gathering areas. But fortunately, Palisade already has that problem covered since the town purchased a new parking lot near downtown that guests can use when visiting.
Palisade will also add social distance seating to the outdoor space on Main and E. 3rd Streets that will not be for specific businesses, but rather for the general public.