Here in the Gilford Street minipark in the West End, there is a restaurant – once the fabled Delilah’s (ask your older gay friends), now Robba da Matti – that has expanded their footprint (and their ceiling) to create something more enticing:
Even as they keep their airiness, they are also becoming more formal, more an extension of their indoor space. Eventually more permanent. Restaurants capable of creating outdoor rooms will have two year-round options based on the seasons – outdoors in good weather, where landscaping will be as mood-shaping as the interior design.
Expansion into the public realm will of course raise an issue. How much should be privatized or made special purpose?
In the case of this restaurant, the expansion of the patio originally occurred where the space itself was little-used and didn’t block any walk-through option. Now it has doubled. Has it added vitality and helped keep a business alive – or is it an incremental intrusion and a concerning precedent for our public open spaces?
UPDATE: Dominic Brown commented below: “I think you’ve used a photo of the mini-park across Haro from the space in question, that shows a fellow relaxing in a big burgundy-coloured hammock under the cherry trees. That was me. I miss that place.”
You mean this one!
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