Walnut Creek Extends Outdoor Dining Program Through End Of 2021, Considers Permanent Extension

July 30, 2021 14:00 pm · 25 comments

Walnut Creek officials are considering whether to keep outdoor dining parklets a permanent fixture of the city after extending the city’s outdoor dining program through the end of the year.

The Walnut Creek City Council unanimously approved the extension of the Walnut Creek Rebound program last week, enabling restaurants to maintain their outdoor dining spaces in areas like erstwhile street parking spaces.

Rebound also created curbside pickup zones near restaurants and retail businesses and closed a handful of streets downtown as restaurants expanded their footprints to accommodate outdoor dining during the pandemic.

According to Mayor Kevin Wilk, a survey of some 1,400 Walnut Creek residents found that 82 percent wanted to make the outdoor dining spaces permanent.

“It’s thoroughly obvious to this council that people like this,” Wilk said last week.

The city launched the Rebound program in June 2020 in coordination with local groups like the Downtown Business Association and the city’s Chamber of Commerce at a time when the state had temporarily banned indoor dining during the pandemic’s early months.

While city officials have acknowledged a modest loss of revenue while the parking spaces are going unused by vehicles, they’ve argued widely available garage parking and the potential loss of local businesses, as well as their tax revenue, was worth the risk.

Walnut Creek city officials are also currently conducting outreach to determine which elements of Rebound to keep in 2022 and beyond, particularly in the city’s bustling downtown.

Business owners are encouraged to contact the city at economicdevelopment@walnut-creek.org to give feedback about the future of outdoor dining and business operations.

“I appreciate the fact that we’re able to help restaurants recover from this pandemic and this disastrous economic collapse that happened over last year and help them a little bit further,” Wilk said.

theunforgiven July 30, 2021 at 2:25 PM

only a matter of time before some drunk runs into one of these outdoor tent venues running over everyone.

WC---Creeker July 30, 2021 at 2:51 PM

To mitigate that, each parklet has to be bordered by 100lb items space 6 feet apart. I helped build one for an establishment.

BOOYAH! July 30, 2021 at 5:44 PM

Those are to keep the tents from flying away. Those will not stop a vehicle from plowing thru diners cuz a driver dropped his cell phone. The barriers give a false sense of security. Therefore I refuse to sit in a parklet until K-rails are installed. Where else do you have patrons sitting 2 feet away from a moving vehicle? Think about it.

Jay Roller July 30, 2021 at 10:55 PM

@WC Creeker Bro do you seriously think that a 100# object is going to stop a Ford F-250 4 door 4×4? All types of vehicles like this driving up and down our roads 24/7!

WC July 30, 2021 at 11:08 PM

100 pounds isn’t going to stop a 4-5000 pound car. Just wait for it.

Randy July 31, 2021 at 7:36 AM


SamE July 30, 2021 at 3:19 PM

Not to make light of the effort or good intentions but a 100 lb barrier might slow down a slow-moving moped.

SarBear July 30, 2021 at 3:44 PM

“I appreciate the fact that we’re able to help restaurants recover from this pandemic and this disastrous economic collapse that happened over last year and help them a little bit further,” Wilk said.

– Says those that pat themselves on the back for the being the solution while being the ones that created the problem.

Plinko July 31, 2021 at 6:58 AM

So true….that guy wilk is so full of himself. He actually thinks he’s a savior. What a piece of poo.

Jay Roller July 31, 2021 at 9:37 AM

We’re here from the government and we’re here to help!

Aunt Barbara July 30, 2021 at 4:31 PM

If only Police could stop those reving engines that speed down Main and Locust, trying to out do each other, leaving you in a cloud of exhaust while dining outdoors.. but… their hands are handcuffed by City council, since the Miles Hall law suit..

Exit 12A July 30, 2021 at 5:15 PM

Main Street Kitchen needs to remove their monstrosity that is blocking the adjoining property and businesses.
This extension just buys time for Collette Hannah, Economic Development Manager, to cover her back side for failing to provide oversight and enforcement of adopted regulations.

Chris July 30, 2021 at 5:40 PM

If that city council had any imagination, they might consider closing off certain roads during hours when the evening dinners gather. For example, after 6pm daily. That way deliveries, shoppers, and employees could navigate around without any inconvenience while allowing dinners a safe and quiet evening like other cities around the U.S.

earl July 30, 2021 at 5:42 PM

will patrons still get attacked from “protestors” seeking “reparations”?

jbelkin July 30, 2021 at 7:24 PM

My only complaint s we need more signs since the tents bock the signs on the restaurants. While we have GPS, t’s still hard to confirm 100% as it might say YOU ARE HERE but seeing the restaurant sign is a better way to confirm.

As for people plowing into them, that’s modern life … something like 135,000 injured enough to go to ER and a ew thousand killed in your own bathroom so …

Hayden Barsotti July 30, 2021 at 7:43 PM

Just close the streets to traffic. Doesn’t take a lot of brain power to come up with that. Why would anyone sit at one of these while vehicles go by with their exhaust fumes. One pays a lot of money for a nice dinner but no discount to sit in the gutter.

BORbeliever July 30, 2021 at 11:06 PM

I wonder how many outdoor diners will be attacked by protestors while the WCPD stand by and do nothing? I’ll pass.

WC July 31, 2021 at 9:02 AM

Well heaven forbid the people who live in Walnut Creek and pay the city council’s salaries should be protected.

earl July 31, 2021 at 11:10 AM


civility is white privilege, isn’t it?

Anonylon July 31, 2021 at 11:34 AM

I do hope they make it permanent, BUT, require restaurants to make a permanent structure. The tents look awful and some restaurants really put together some hokey fencing ,etc. So go permanent so the restaurant owners can feel good about investing in a great outdoor dining experience.

Aunt Barbara July 31, 2021 at 12:39 PM

Tomatina on Main st is the worst.

It’s owned by Syufy theaters… so you can imagine how poorly run it is.
it used to be a gold mine about 20 years ago. It’s now just waiting to be closed down.by the health depatrment.

Bill Bob July 31, 2021 at 3:05 PM

“…areas like erstwhile street parking spaces.”

Look at you Claycord, getting fancy with the Microsoft Word thesaurus.

ChuckStir July 31, 2021 at 5:32 PM

The only solutions are, number one – Is what Hayden Barsotti said, close the street, Number two, make the speed limit 15 MPH just like a school zone and zero tolorance for offenders or three, guardrails. If none of these ideas are put into action then wait til there is an incident that severly injures or kills someone, then you will see something done.

Lost Pride July 31, 2021 at 9:00 PM

If you want to destroy all down town business other then restaurants – go for it. Have fun with your divisions.

Ilovepopcorn July 31, 2021 at 9:18 PM

I would rather dine at home any day! My cooking has developed into a wide variety of delicious food since the pandemic began. Forget spending money to eat out especially in a dangerous roadside parklet that could have a car drive on you. Forget that. Now with this crazy infectious new Delta variant, I do not like bring indoors with people at all. Especially if I don’t know if they are spreading the virus. I was out last week in WC and noticed those outside restaurants are packed and of course one cannot wear a mask. No thanks. Looks like risky behavior to me. Forget about it.

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