June 17, 2008

Bring an eatery to Boston Common!

If you think about your favorite urban spaces, chances are good they're "mixed use" in many ways. They likely encourage multiple forms of transit, not just the automobile; and they mix people living, working, shopping and relaxing so there's street life throughout the day and evening. Add in some outdoor space and restaurants with outdoor cafe seating, and if it's well designed, chances are you've got a space worth visiting.

That's why I was so encouraged to see that Boston officials are thinking of putting some kind of sit-down eatery in Boston Common. Adding a place to enjoy lunch or dinner in the midst of the city's green oasis is a great idea that, if done well, will make the Common more of an appealing destination. City officials reportedly traveled to New York City recently to check out a restaurant in Central Park.

"Boston officials, marveling at the vibrant scenes they found in New York, said they are exploring the idea of establishing a full-scale restaurant, a simple food kiosk, or something in between to attract diners to the Common," the Boston Globe reported. Both parks were designed by famed landscape architect Frederic Law Olmstead.

Many other cities have eateries in their public parks, adding to the enjoyment of visiting. For example, Geneva's botanical garden features an outdoor cafe (buy food inside, bring it out to your table) where you can get beer & wine as well as a nice lunch, and sit outside on a nice day.


  1. In Milwaukee we have Alterra on the Lake which is an extremely properly cafe and a great place to sit outside and enjoy the lake front. Adding a little life to a park is definitely a must do!

  2. Alterra on the Lake sounds nice. Hope we get a park eatery sometime soon in Boston, and more outdoor dining in my town of Framingham!