Brooklyn’s first “pop up street cafe” opened Friday on Warren Street, at Smith Street, in Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill.
The city Department of Transportation has opened several of the somewhat controversial public street seating areas–built over parking lanes–in Manhattan. The public spaces are “sponsored” by, and paid for, by the restaurants and cafes they sit outside of.
The owners of Ecopolis Café, a coffee and sandwich shop focusing on locally grown food that opened in 2009, used lovely blond reclaimed wood to build the 25-foot-by-6-foot space over a single metered parking spot on Warren. The Manhattan versions are a bit larger.
Ecopolis will serve people sitting in the outdoor seating, but it is, technically, a public space, so there will be no requirement to order food or drinks in order to sit there, said the DOT employee I spoke with Friday morning, as she was watching over the new space while the stain on the wood was drying.
“In weighing the loss of one parking spot against the value of adding an activity and dimension to the street and street activity, hosting [Brooklyn’s] first ‘Pop-up cafes certainly wins out,” Bette Stolz, the director of the South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation, wrote in a statement.
Ecopolis is also responsible for the planters, tables, chairs and maintenance of the space.
The DOT employee I spoke with asked for people to write in to the local community board if they like the pop up cafe. In Manhattan, they have been controversial, both for taking up parking spaces and for bringing more tourists… check out this blog: