Berkeley’s first parklet opens in the Gourmet Ghetto

Berkeley's first parklet has opened outside the Cheese Board Collective at xxxx Shattuck Ave. Photo: Colleen Neff

Berkeley’s first parklet has opened outside the Cheese Board Collective at 1520 Shattuck Ave. Photo: Colleen Neff

It’s been a long time coming, but Berkeley today welcomed its first ever permanent parklet.

The enclosed sitting and eating area is located outside the ever-popular Cheese Board Collective at 1520 Shattuck Ave. in the city’s Gourmet Ghetto neighborhood.

“It is lovely!” said Colleen Neff who took some of the photos shown here.


Photo: Doug Ng

 A serving of pizza on Tuesday Aug. 12 at Berkeley's first parklet. Photo: Colleen Neff

A serving of pizza at Berkeley’s first parklet. Photo: Colleen Neff

The new gathering spot replaces two parking spaces, and should be joined sometime in the next few weeks by a second parklet outside Philz Coffee and Guerilla Café at 1600 and 1620 Shattuck.

Tables and benches at the Cheese Board parklet have been made using reclaimed wood from the Cal Memorial Stadium, there are mosaic-clad planters and brightly colored chairs.

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.

Read more about the story of Berkeley’s parklets and how they came to be.

Both parklets will be maintained by the adjacent businesses but will be open to non-customers too.


Photo: Doug Ng


Photo: Doug Ng

The guys who built the city's first parklet, photographed outside the Cheese Board Collective. Photo: Colleen Neff

The guys who built the city’s first parklet, including architect Maurice Levitch (far left), photographed outside the Cheese Board Collective. Photo: Colleen Neff

This story was updated with new photographs after publication.

Related articles:
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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  • Charles_Siegel

    It took me a day to get that pun. The Greek god Pan was half goat.

  • Charles_Siegel

    You can see in the second picture above that it has a high concrete curb – higher than the curb of the sidewalk – which looks like it would stop most cars.

  • guest

    At this point they are skating by on reputation. I used to love their stuff but over the last year the quality has markedly declined.

  • guest

    So what? Does the location prevent you from comparing the designs?

  • disqus_S1ql48Vi9i

    I totally agree. Quite overrated. The ice cream at iScream on Solano is 100x better!

  • disqus_S1ql48Vi9i

    I too thought it was CB seating

  • disqus_S1ql48Vi9i

    They’re obnoxious and they’re filthy. Don’t waste my time with this PC b.s.

  • Andrew D

    I love the park-let, I’m for more people friendly changes. My point (and granted I’m sure the larger world around us and all the multi faceted issues being discussed there got lumped in with this particular issue) was that I think framing issues as “with us or against us” is a recipe for making sure there are losers and winners. I’d rather discuss things in terms of finding common ground on solutions we can all live with. Slow change rather than perpetual antagonism.

  • Smartypantsknowitall

    It took me a split second to get it. And panhandlers playing the flute might have more luck.

  • In Berkeley
    Where some faun upon satyrists
    Would a pan handling flute get the loot?


  • liupak

    the first berkeley parklet i saw five years ago back when SF were doing it all over.

  • liupak

    this was a Berkeley parklet I saw five years ago when they were popular in SF.

  • Cat Monkeywoman

    lol. I’ve hung out in that parklet! Great music too. ( :

  • Cat Monkeywoman

    Yaaay PARKLET!!

  • mike_napolis_beard

    The best thing about cynicism and expecting the worst about the world is that you are never disappointed. Only set more in your ways when you see things that are bad and surprised when good things happen.

  • Bill N

    Buy a pint of Three Twins and you’re good to go!!