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Pop-Up Picnic Parks: A Place to Gather in the Pike District

popuppicnicparks

Our Concept & Execution

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique and sudden challenges to local restaurants and residents alike.  How can restaurants bring in revenue with limited foot traffic and safety restrictions that limit seating and reduce indoor dining capacity?  How can residents support their favorite establishments and enjoy restaurant meals in safe and comfortable environments?

We’ve seen a decisive pivot toward to-go options and carryout orders and we wanted to provide a place to safely gather while supporting local businesses affected by the crisis. We dreamed up a series of pop-up picnic parks in the Pike District: relaxing settings with designated spaces to enjoy blue skies, green grass and fresh air along with food and drinks from local restaurants.

To create our pop-up oasis at the corner of Market Street and Executive Boulevard, we placed more than a dozen picnic tables throughout the grass along the Montgomery County Conference Center parking garage and surrounded the tables with 8-foot circles to visually remind and encourage visitors to keep a physical distance.  We provided hand sanitizer as well as cleaning supplies to wipe tables before and after use.  We even made extra circles so visitors can bring their own chairs and blankets.

Finally, we added festive flourishes with solar-powered string lights and floral planters.  To promote the pop-up parks, we ran a social media contest encouraging picnickers to share their photos.

We set up picnic tables at four locations in the Pike District to encourage outdoor dining wherever possible.

  • Market Street: At the corner of Market Street and Executive Boulevard
  • The Hill: At the corner of Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown Road
  • Wall Park: At the corner of Executive Boulevard and Nicholson Lane
  • The Patio: At the corner of Rockville Pike and Marinelli Road near the westside entrance to the White Flint Metro Station

Press Coverage

https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/dine/outdoor-tables-added-to-sit-and-eat-in-north-bethesda/

https://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2020/07/montgomery-county-establishes-popup-picnic-parks-for-restaurant-takeout/

https://www.thelistareyouonit.com/buzz/and-now-for-something-completely-different