New parklet opens outside Simple Pleasures on outer Balboa

The Richmond District’s second parklet opened on Saturday in front of Simple Pleasures Cafe at 3434 Balboa near 35th Avenue. The budget for the parklet was $26,000, one of the most expensive in the city to date.

Unlike most city parklets, this one is spacious. Because the parking on that block of Balboa is slanted, the parklet is much deeper than a typical one. It took over 3 parking spaces in total.

Designed by San Francisco’s Step 3 Studio, the parklet is well constructed with heavy, stained wood benches and planters, and tile flooring.

The parklet was paid for by Simple Pleasures Cafe but the space is considered public, and open to anyone to use at anytime. Parklets are part of the San Francisco Planning Department’s Pavement to Parks initiative, designed to “temporarily reclaim unused swathes of land and quickly and inexpensively turn them into new public spaces”.

Next up is a parklet outside Cinderella Bakery on Balboa near 6th Avenue. No word yet on when though.

Sarah B.


  1. Very nice. It would be nicer if there were two ways in and out.

  2. Perfect spot for a parklet and perfect day for a parklet opening.

  3. by far this is the best thing about all the recent renovation work done on this stretch of Balboa

  4. this sucks. just invites more smokers to this area to kill everyone with their second hand smoke.

  5. @Steve- you aren’t allowed to smoke in a parklet! Very nice addition to the street. Can’t wait for a parklet to open up by Cinderella

  6. This parklet was funded, in part, by a parklet and greening fund that was created by Supervisor Mar to encourage these sorts of community building and beautifying projects in the Richmond District. We hope that in the very near future it will help to bring more parklets to different areas of the neighborhood.

    Just as an FYI, smoking is prohibited in all San Francisco parklets.

    For merchants who are interested in accessing funding for their parklets, please contact the Parklet Program Manager for the Planning Department, Robin Abad, at : 415-575-9123 or via email:robin.abad@sfgov.org

    You may also contact me at (415) 554-7412 or nickolas.pagoulatos@sfgov.org.

  7. It seems to me that most of the parklets I’ve seen and heard about are primarily located in front of coffee shops and such and therefore, even though they’re public places, they tend to primarily exist to advance the purpose of the adjacent business. Maybe consideration needs to be given to directing public funds for their construction and placement at major muni transfer points. There’s usually never enough seating at many bus stops. Or would they get taken over as homeless encampments?

  8. But of course the parklet was invented as a “hipster” magnet.

  9. Holy crap some of you are grumpy and jaded. Eliminating or avoiding building public spaces because of the fear of smokers is perhaps the laziest and worst way to deal with a problem. Additionally, being annoyed that there is not enough Muni waiting space is not a good reason to resent parklets in front of businesses. The local businesses help fund the construction and are partially responsible for upkeep. No reason to have a problem with it because of the absence of parklets elsewhere.

  10. I have to say, I thought the parklet near jones and post was pretty stupid, but as a public space it works supprisingly well. It’s much more inviting when passing on the sidewalk rather than viewed from the street. During the week, there are people sitting there throughout the day. Someone walking their dog is likely to stop and chat with with someone they know, or a pair will choose that as a place to meetup before walking to Union Square.

    As for smoking, in case you haven’t noticed, no one smokes in SF anymore, takes too much time away from opperating your smartphone. Instead you keep an e-cigarret in your coat pocket and pull it at to take a puff while you’re waiting for some to ‘like’ your latest facebook post.

  11. This parklet looks well made and attractive. Plants were attractively selected. Good job! Hope those who use it treat it well.

  12. Isn’t it funny how Mr. Mar’s advisors are quick to take the glory, but run for this hills when the criticism comes in. True politican.

  13. Just walked by the parklet (4/23, 1:15PM) — 4 people smoking and 2 drinking beer in glasses from Simple P — 6 out of the 8 people there not abiding by the rules. Parklet’s pretty, but certainly seems like a boon for Simple P and a pain for the rest of us.

  14. @Cath “Just walked by the parklet (4/23, 1:15PM) — 4 people smoking and 2 drinking beer in glasses from Simple P — 6 out of the 8 people there not abiding by the rules. Parklet’s pretty, but certainly seems like a boon for Simple P and a pain for the rest of us.”

    Are signs in easily seen places that say “no smoking or drinking”? If not, they should be. If so, and code is being violated, wait around for a roaming cop car and let them know.

  15. Thanks for this post Sarah. We, (step.3.studio), built the parklet. Appreciate the nice pics…”–), btw: we didn’t want to do the skate caps but…pretty tempting rail….

    thanks again,


  16. @Cath: folks were smoking out on the tables and chairs in front of Simple Pleasures long before the parklet even existed. There’s even a sign on the cafe window that states persons are to be xxx number of feet away from the building to be able to smoke but people have sat on the chairs in front and smoked away for who knows how long without Simple Pleasures NOT enforcing the 15(?) foot rule. Given how SP ignored the smoking distance rule, I doubt much they’re going to enforce any of the rules about smoking in the parklet. Oh, btw: ain’t supposed to drink beer on the parklet either but that rule is ignore on pretty much every parklet around the City.

Comments are closed.