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DESIGN & STYLE

Sister of Soul Has Unveiled Plans to Transform Parking Spaces Into Curbside Dining

With room for 50 diners, the council-approved parklet will free up footpath space and increase the restaurant's capacity.
By Libby Curran
September 21, 2020
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Sister of Soul Has Unveiled Plans to Transform Parking Spaces Into Curbside Dining

With room for 50 diners, the council-approved parklet will free up footpath space and increase the restaurant's capacity.
By Libby Curran
September 21, 2020
  shares

The Victorian Government has only just outlined its plans to facilitate an outdoor dining boom for Melbourne, in an effort to help the city's bars and restaurants recover post-lockdown. But, one local business started preparing for the al fresco-focused hospitality scene early, with Sister of Soul already unveiling its parklet plans.

The St Kilda eatery has announced plans to transform a stretch of its streetside car parking into an outdoor dining zone, complete with table dividers, roof panels and planters filled with greenery.

Owner Daniel Clerici approached the City of Port Phillip Council with the bones of this idea a few months ago, predicting there'd be extra demand for outdoor dining as Melbourne's hospitality industry navigated future pandemic restrictions. In the case of his own venue, Clerici wanted to minimise the impact of potential density limits and improve pedestrian access between Acland Street and the beach, alongside the restaurant.

After a speedy response from the Council, the two groups got busy plotting a solution for the site. And, with some design work by Jon Lyons from Rightside Creative Solutions, the parklet plans were born. The project scored official Council approval this week, with construction expected to kick off in the coming days.

Sister of Soul by Kate Shanasy

While the 21-metre-long seating platform is designed to free up footpath space so passersby can maintain social distancing, there are further plans to install extra bike racks and to boost pedestrian safety by widening part of the adjoining Acland Street and Shakespeare Grove intersection.

Rightside's parklet design is set to be built from a mix of ply and cypress timbers, featuring a row of eight booths separated by 1.2-metre-high dividers. There'll be artificial grass along the floor, planter boxes around the sides and angled roof panels providing some shade. All up, the structure has capacity for 50 people, which would help Sister of Soul counter any strict caps imposed on its indoor dining space. Previously, the restaurant could seat up to 90 patrons inside, with capacity for another 30 outside.

The parklet build is expected to cost around $25,000, which'll be covered by Sister of Soul. The council will pay for the bike racks, protective bollards and expanded pedestrian zone.

Construction of Sister of Soul's new parklet is expected to begin late-September, to be completed in time for the restaurant's anticipated October reopening. Find it on the Shakespeare Grove side of 73 Acland Street, St Kilda.

Published on September 21, 2020 by Libby Curran

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