FBTX ~ In the era of COVID-19, when people venture out of their homes they are typically looking to get some space. At Cuquita’s Mexican restaurant, it might be a parking space.
Cuquita’s is one of the first restaurants in the City to take advantage of Farmers Branch CARES funding to set up a temporary outdoor area, or "parklet," designed to give patrons the space they need.
The temporary outdoor furnishings, in this case, are occupying what used to be about seven parking spaces directly in front of the restaurant, with red paint on the surface, offset by white design stamps, umbrellas and shade sails above the socially-spaced tables and woodwork, with some greenery, defining the border.
Enabled by the Farmers Branch allocation of CARES funding by the federal government through Dallas County, the City works with an area design group, Team Better Block, to implement each location.
“The concept of pop-up public spaces is not a new one, but it has taken on a whole new urgency in the era of COVID-19,” said Farmers Branch Mayor Robert Dye. “With federal CARES funding coming to Farmers Branch through Dallas County, we believe this program can be a gamechanger for local establishments that might otherwise have been in some degree of difficulty as a result of the pandemic.”
Andrew Howard, of Team Better Block, said Farmers Branch has been a leader for wisely using CARES act funding for stimulating the economy and keeping people safe. "Staff has been really flexible and ready to act in approving these plans in an expedited process," he said.
The City issues "parklet" permission for 120 days. There is not a current procedure for renewal of the pop-up space, but officials said other options could be considered, depending on the state of the pandemic at the end of 2020.
There are other parklets coming soon, with design touches specific to the location. Spaces are currently being installed at Marshall’s Barbecue and Nuevo Leo with spaces coming soon to Jen’s Place, Odd Muse Brewery and Donut King. For more information on the assistance program, call 972.919.2509.