Owner Mike Zagah Discusses Bean Bag Cafe's Planned Parklet

Earlier this month, we reported that both Repose Coffee and Bean Bag Cafe had put in applications to install parklets in front of their respective businesses. Both proposals were up for public review until August 6th, and since neither business received any complaints or objections from local residents, each has moved on to next phase of the planning process.

Photo: Stephen Jackson/Hoodline

Repose co-owner James Grogan says he won't have any more details about his parklet for another month or so, but Bean Bag owner Mike Zagah confirmed that his parklet is in the works, and that his architect is currently working to obtain the proper permits. We chatted with him about neighbors' concerns regarding crowding, and his eventual plans for the parklet design. 

We've heard some complaints in the past about customers taking up too much space on the sidewalk in front of Bean Bag. With the addition of this new space, how will you address this issue?

"The parklet's going to help mitigate the crowds by adding more seating. Since we reapplied for our [outdoor drinking] license, we've been much more strict, making sure that people outside are all sitting at tables. We've hired a new manager for the evenings, so we have someone watching the place all the time. We hope the parklet will ease this issue."

What do you hope the parklet will add to Bean Bag?

"It's not for the business, it's much more for the neighborhood. It was a suggestion from our customers. I'm excited to have people come out of their apartments and socialize. We've been here for 25 years, and have been the main gathering spot for the neighborhood. This is exactly what we're looking for, for people to meet each other and ultimately make it a safer area and keep the bad people away."

Can you give us any more details about the project? Designs? Timelines?

"We have a lot of designs in mind, and our architect is working on it. It will be a friendly atmosphere and inviting for everybody. It will be an environmentally sound buildout, but I don't want to give away too much at the moment.

"The signs were posted roughly two and a half weeks ago, and we're done with that phase. Now the architect is working on finalizing the permit for it. We haven't heard any objections from the posting, but I'm not sure about the procedures, so I don't want to guess on the timeframe. This is new for me, but the my architect is working on it.

"The Bean Bag itself will stay the same; nothing will change operationally. I feel like it's going to be a win-win situation. We are good as far as our business goes; this is for the neighborhood and that's what I'm most excited for."

We'll keep you posted with any further updates on the parklet projects at both Repose and Bean Bag Cafe. How do you feel about these new additions to the neighborhood? Let us know in the comments!

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