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'Parklets' coming to downtown ABQ for trial run

Updated: 08/08/2014 7:39 AM | Created: 08/07/2014 6:51 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Pilar Westell wishes she could sometimes take her business outside, especially when the sky is clear and the weather is warm.

"The city is just really hungry for places to sit outside and enjoy our beautiful weather," said Pilar Westell, owner of Zendo, a coffee shop on 2nd Street in downtown Albuquerque.

But Westell thinks she's found an answer. Her shop could have downtown's first parklet, or "parquito".

A parklet or "parquito" is a public sidewalk extension taking up one or two parking spots, and they're transformed into mini parks or seating areas. You can find them in some cities throughout the country, like San Francisco and Seattle.

"The idea is to bring people and get people in the street," said Tim Trujillo with Urban ABQ.

Trujillo thinks this will also bring business downtown. He's been working with Zendo and the city for about a year. Just recently, the city gave them the heads up to 'try it out' to see if it proves to be a success.

The "Zendo Parquito" will have planters, chairs and tables.

Don't expect any "parquitos" on Central – that's paid parking run by the city.

But expect Zendo's next month. "People love to sit outside and it's sort of a novel idea so I think people would come just to check it out," said Westell.

Trujillo said the project isn't cheap, especially with the fees they have to pay the city. If you'd like to help, you can visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/zendo-parquito.


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