Saul’s Deli parklet which opened on Nov. 12, 2015. Photo: Colleen Neff
Saul’s Deli parklet which opened on Nov. 12, 2015. Photo: Colleen Neff

Berkeley’s second parklet is now open for visitors. The outdoor seating area in front of Saul’s Delicatessen in the Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood was unveiled today. It comes on the heels of the recent move of the Thursday Farmers Market to its new location in the off-road strip in front of Saul’s and neighboring businesses.

The parklet was funded in part by a successful $15,000 Indiegogo campaign earlier this year. Saul’s owner, Peter Levitt, hopes the space will be a boon to farmers market shoppers, in addition to regular day-time foot traffic.

Saul’s parklet, at 1475 Shattuck Ave., was designed by Berkeley architect David Trachtenberg, who is also responsible for the building that houses Saul’s, as well as many other buildings in Berkeley.

Saul’s parklet. Photo: Colleen Neff
Saul’s parklet. Photo: Colleen Neff

The first Berkeley parklet opened in front of the Cheese Board Collective down the road from Saul’s at 1520 Shattuck Ave. last August. A third parklet, in front of Philz Coffee and Guerrilla Café is in the works. All three are part of a pilot program run by the city, inspired by initiatives in San Francisco and Oakland, that allows for the creation of 10 parcels in Berkeley’s commercial districts.

Read more about the story of Berkeley’s parklets.

Getting parklets in the city has proved arduous partly because it required developing a new permiting system, partly because of concerns over reduced parking, and partly due to budget. Heather Hensley, Executive Director of the North Shattuck Association, estimates each parklet costs $20,000-$25,000. The Cheese Board Collective is footing its parklet’s bill, and money for the one in front of Philz and Guerilla is being crowdfunded.

Berkeley’s second parklet opened on Nov. 12, 2015. Photo: Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen
Berkeley’s second parklet opened on Nov. 12, 2015. Photo: Saul’s Restaurant & Delicatessen

In his application for the Saul’s Deli parklet, Levitt envisioned a lively meeting space where people will bring take-out or coffee from any of the Gourmet Ghetto businesses and linger to chat with neighbors.

“There’s no real sidewalk life here, except maybe when there’s a farmers market,” Levitt said earlier this year. With a parklet, “it’ll just be human beings and faces on the sidewalk, as opposed to just cars.”

Because parklets are public, Saul’s won’t be able to serve food at the new spot, although the deli is responsible for its maintenance. But Saul’s customers can bring a take-out sandwich or cookie outside and the space is open to non-customers too.

Saul’s owner applies to build parklet in front of deli (01.14.15) 
Berkeley’s first parklet opens in the Gourmet Ghetto (09.12.14)
Berkeley’s first two parklets coming this fall (06.19.14)
Berkeley parklets stir up excitment, apprehension (07.08.2014)
Berkeley officials get closer to public “parklet” policy (06.10.13)
North Berkeley merchants want parklets for the people
Trees and seating focus for Solano Avenue improvements (08.16.12)
Cheese Board Collective: 40 years in the Gourmet Ghetto (07.08.11)
Food takes to the streets, literally, on Park(ing) Day (09.17.10)
Keba Konte, Guerilla Café (04.09.10)

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...