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.

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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.

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Photo: Doug Ng
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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
 (08.31.12)
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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