Montreal Should Open "Street Bench" Restaurants In The City
A very unique outdoor eating experience.
Photo cred - Restaurant Day Montréal Carnaval Culinaire
Benches are always there for you when you're walking around the city, offering a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Built for you to take a load off and rest for a hot minute, benches are like mini rest stops. But what if that concept was taken to the extreme, and benches became mini cafe-restos, with the offer of food and drinks to anyone who pops a squat on a bench? Such is the reality in Amsterdam, and Montreal should do the same.
In Amsterdam, on the first Sunday of every month, the members of the BenchesCollective transform street side seating into pop-up cafes, restos, and kiosks. Citizens own the benches next to there house in Amsterdam, and the initiative is all about "sharing" the space, with bench-owners opening up their benches for the public to enjoy.
The process to create a pop up benchaurant (copyright pending on that gem) is pretty simple. Bench owners register online, provide a description of what they're bench will offer passersby (anything from coffee to clothing swaps) and on the date they follow through and create new bonds within the community.
Montreal already has a slight variation on this concept with Restaurant Day, who also pointed us towards the Benches Collective. In much the same way, random citizens can create their own ephemeral restaurant for one day, but at their houses or a large space, and not a bench.
Benches aren't privately owned in Montreal, though a BenchesCollective type initiative could still work. People would just need to go through the city to register for a bench-spot,, where parking spots are transformed into public spaces. We know it can work, and we hope it will, because getting coffee served to you as you chill out on a bench sounds amazingly convenient.
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