Posts Tagged ‘SanFrustration’

Oh No! Caffe Roma Co-Opts a Parklet on Columbus Avenue: Formerly Public Space is Now For Paying Customers Only

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

[UPDATE - "SanFrustration" explicates, regarding some information in the Comments section about there being, in fact, a sign on the parklet concerned saying how it is for the public: "I wish I would have seen that sign when the old white haired guy came out and rudely told me I had to leave. When I questioned him on it, he was adamant that it was their chairs and tables, and made a big deal of waiting for me to pack up my food. Bear in mind, there was only one other person at the 6 or 7 tables there. All the others were empty. This guy came with attitude from the get go that was both uncalled for and misplaced, and had another older guy standing next to him that was supposed to serve as his backup or something? For what its worth, I overheard them talking about cramming more tables and chairs into the space in preparation for an upcoming parade.

O.K. then. Be sure to check SanFrustration's story in the Comments section. He blames an "older Italian man" for the trouble. Somebody in management, not a waiter. Who could that be?]

[UPDATE II - Now, it's not my job to file a complaint with "Tony Roma," the "owner" of the parklet in question, or anybody else. (Mmmm... it's fun to make up names for ourselves, in'nt? Instead of "Tony Roma" (heh), what about Vitale Venezia, Santino Serrano, or Matteo Milano? You know, something catchy.]

What gives Caffe Roma the right to kick The Public out of the public parklet* at 526 Columbus Avenue?

Absolutely nothing.

I’ll say it again: Absolutely nothing.

And yet, employees of this joint are kicking Il Pubblico out.

Can you imagine?

Let’s read about what happens when a non-customer (let’s use il nome “SanFrustration”) has the temerity to use a public parklet as a public parklet:

“I am writing to express concerns with the way Cafe Roma is handling the public parklet in front of their establishment on Columbus Avenue. As I sat down to enjoy a lunch purchased elsewhere, I was told by Cafe Roma management that I needed to purchase something from them or I’d have to leave. When I explained that I was under the impression this was public space, they said it wasn’t and indicated I was using their table and chair, and thus couldn’t sit there.

When I looked for the public bench in the parklet, I observed that their tables were crowded into this space, making it impossible for anybody to actually use the benches. It was my impression that these parklets were not intended for private enterprise, and I’m very alarmed that they are claiming this area as part of their establishment and not allowing any public usage.”

Testify!

Does it have to say “PUBLIC PARKLET – ALL SEATING IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC” in order for these areas to be public? Non so.

This photo shows a different parklet, but I think the rules are the same all over the City. See the words in there, camera left? 

Via Streetsblog – photo: Myleen Hollero/Orange Photography - click to expand

I cry foul. Accuso! Accuso!

Hey Caffe Roma, should you accommodate the public at the public park in front of your business?

Perche no?

I know you’ve paid fees and whatnot, but you didn’t buy the land in fee simple absolute, right?

*Or walklet, as some call them